Adenrele Babatunde, a journalist, has lamented the ill-treatment meted to him by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and other officers of Ijero Ekiti Police Station on Sunday.
Babatunde, who had been in Ekiti for two days, visited the state’s College of Health Science where he would later suffer a bruised lip and body pains for asking questions of the police.
He said the police had arrested an applicant who was scheduled to undergo the College’s School of Nursing entrance examination but was caught vandalizing properties on the campus after learning that the exams were postponed.
When Babatunde approached the police to find out why the boy was being arrested, the police became violent and beat him till his lip became bloodied.
“Forms were sold out but there was no alternative for the students. Imagine the management of the school selling forms a day to the exam. The portal was on till Friday, whereas the exam was taking place on Saturday. When they couldn’t keep up, they shifted the exams till Sunday,” he told FIJ.
He said the lack of preparation unsettled parents and applicants, eventually leading to a protest that needed the intervention of security operatives. It was during this process that an applicant broke the louvers of the college, and was arrested by the police.
“I met the DPO to explain to him and ask reasons the boy was locked up; the next thing he did was to slap me and order for my arrest and detention. I challenged him and told him I was only demanding evidence as to what happened. His boys already pounced on me, destroying my midget and wristwatch, and I was bundled into their waiting Hilux,” Babatunde recalled. He was later released by 5 pm.
FIJ reached out to Abutu Sunday, the Public Relations Officer of the Ekiti Police Command, who confirmed he had spoken with the Division but blamed the injuries suffered by Babatunde on the protesters.
“The place was a riot scene, the police was called in to restore peace,” he said. “The man was inciting a young boy to destroy things, and he was obstructing arrest. The police did not harm him.”
Sunday also said Babatunde was not a journalist, but a relative of a boy arrested for vandalizing properties at the Federal College of Health Sciences on Saturday.
“We have huge respect for journalists in Ekiti. If he had introduced himself as a journalist, he would have been given that maximum respect because we respect the profession,” he said. “We respect everyone, but when you say you’re a journalist, you are given that added respect.”