Lawal Murtala, an Inspector at the Dopemu, Lagos, Division of the Nigeria Police, allegedly beat up and detained a woman on Thursday for filming him as he beat up a civilian.
Narrating her experience, accompanied by a video, on her social media channels, Pearl Anne, the victim, called for an end to police brutality
The short video showed passengers in a commercial minibus. A woman is heard complaining, in Pidgin, that the policeman “is just oppressing everybody inside this bus, just dey beat everybody“.
It also showed that as the phone was directed to the Inspector’s face, he angrily landed a slap on the woman, smashing the screen of her phone in the process and asking if she was stupid.
“You want to snap me in uniform?” he asked repeatedly. “Oya, snap me let me see.”
According to Anne, the Inspector beat her up “just because I recorded him beating up an innocent man” who was dragged to the police station. She also said she was detained from 2pm to 7pm, the recorded video forcefully deleted, and her phone smashed and seized.
But unknown to them, she added, “I had already forwarded one successfully to my sister via WhatsApp”.
She said she had gone to make a report of the policeman’s assault but was instead detained with the excuse that “a policeman can do whatever he likes and that videoing a policeman is an offence”.
She wrote: Inspector Lawal Murtala of the Dopemu division Lagos, Nigeria, beat me up today just because i recorded him beating up an innocent man and was dragged to the police station. I was detained for hours, and the video forcefully deleted of which unknowing to them, i had already forwarded one successfully to my sister via WhatsApp. Then my phone was smashed and seized.
Imagine going to report an assault by a policeman and i get detained instead saying a policeman can do whatever he likes and that videoing a policeman is an offence. The dpo , a woman was in full support of the policeman, ordered that i get detained saying i wanted to video to post and she will not let that happen. I was detained from 2pm till 7pm. This is INJUSTICE !!! ????????
The police who should protect us are the ones victimising is and this should change. It is not just fair. We all should say no to police brutality.
Edgar Imohimi, Commissioner of Police, could not be reached for comments, as his phone was switched off.