FIDA, other women groups protest, say police still holding on to woman’s $750

THE beating of an American returnee, Mrs. Toyin Adeyeye, by some policemen in Ekiti State, has taken a new dimension as various women groups in the state, led by the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) have staged a protest against the brutalization of the woman.

FIDA, which addressed newsmen in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday, alleged that the sum of $750 allegedly seized from Adeyeye during the incident, was still with the police and also demanded that the money be returned to her.

The women lawyers also claimed that following the beatings received by the woman from the police, she has been re-admitted at a hospital as, according to them “she was injured at the point of her Caesarian section, which she had in the United States.”

The angry protesters, including Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ); Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC); Trade Union Congress (TUC the Women Commission); Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Human Rights Committee; Women in Colleges of Education (WICE), and others, demanded that the Inspector-General of Police should set up a panel to investigate the matter.

They claimed that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Abdullah Chafe, was allegedly shielding policemen who brutalised the American returnee.

Mrs Oluwaseyi Ojo, the FIDA Vice Chairman, who led their team, said: “We observe with disdain the efforts police are making in covering up this lawlessness of its officers and the injustice to a law-abiding Ekiti woman and her child. Ekiti women are saying no to all forms of violence on women and children.

“Governor Fayose has ordered for a thorough investigation; however, the Ekiti State Police Command has flagrantly disobeyed and disregarded this order. The CP has refused to investigate this matter and that is why we are holding this press briefing to draw the attention of the whole world to this case.

“After stopping Mrs. Adeyeye and her brother on that day, they tendered all vehicle papers which are still valid and while searching for vehicle documents dollars dropped from the car and the policemen demanded for dollars.

“The beating started, they beat Mrs. Adeyeye and her brother and as at the time we are talking, the policemen are yet to return $750 taken from the woman. We demand that the $750 in the custody of a police officer, Waheed Adedokun, an office at New Iyin Road station be returned and all the erring officers be brought to justice.”

The Vice Chairman of NBA, Ado Ekiti Branch, Mr. Vincent Adedara, who is also the Chairman of its Human Rights Committee, also called on the Force Headquarters to launch an investigation into the incident, claiming that the “Ekiti command was allegedly shielding the culprits.”

Adedara said the Police Service Commission (PSC) “must investigate and bring to book, Adedokun Waheed, the New Iyin Road acting DPO, Mr. Kazeem and a female police officer who beat her in the cell.”

He said: “What justification did the police have to brutalize a woman and how would a harmless woman assault a fully armed policeman? And there were about five of them at the checkpoint? We believe that the CP has not handled the matter professionally.

“Their action negate international standard of policing because they have gone ahead to plaster the head of a policeman to portray Mrs. Adeyeye as an aggressor and that is why we want the IGP to constitute a high-powered panel to investigate the matter.”

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