June 14, 2024

The Daily Vendor

Nigeria Digital Newspaper

SASA operatives who manhandled APGA chieftain won’t go free – Soludo

3 min read

Anambra State government on Wednesday said operatives of the Special Anti-Touting Squad, SASA who arrested and brutalized Mr. Wilfred Ezike, a chieftain of the ruling party (APGA) in Onitsha would face the wrath of the law.

Commissioner for Homeland Affairs, Chikodi Anarah who made the disclosure in a statement, said the administration of Governor Chukwuma Soludo does not condone lawlessness.

A group of people said to be members of SASA had allegedly beaten the victim, popularly known as Mgbilimgba to a coma over an unknown offence.

A video that made the rounds on social media on Tuesday showed the men, suspected to be anti-touting officials hitting the man with a short pestle while questioning him over a yet-to-be-known matter.

The video showed one of the Anti-Touts operatives in mufti hitting the victim with a short pestle on his legs and ankles as he struggled for survival.

The operative repeatedly hit his victim with the pestle while his colleagues were making the video, as the victim was rolling on the ground, helplessly crying and begging for opportunity to explain himself.

In the video, while the suspect tried to explain to them that his wife was pregnant and that he didn’t want to die without seeing his child, the anti-tout operatives told him that they wanted him dead, adding that they were not there for joke.

The operatives were also overheard querying him about a fee allegedly collected by the victim’s brother at Niger Street, Onitsha, which they said was being remitted to him.

The video attracted wide condemnations from members of the public who wondered why Anti-tout operatives should subject someone to such inhumane treatment, instead of being handed over to the police for appropriate investigation and possible prosecution.

Reacting to the development on Wednesday in a statement, the Commissioner for Homeland Affairs, Chikodi Anarah, said, “We will punish erring SASA operatives.”

He said,”I have been alerted to a viral video on the arrest and manhandling of one Wilfred Ezike, also known as Mgbiligba by SASA operatives. I really feel bad that an incident of that nature took place. I have felt bad all through the day since somebody posted the video to me.

“It is true that some people are unrepentantly committed to various criminalities on the basis of which innocent citizens remain in miserable conditions running their legitimate day to day life, but we must handle human beings according to prescriptions of the law, no matter their offence.

“Our Government is law abiding, and that is why we must fish out the SASA operatives involved in the incident under reference and punish them accordingly.

“It is also true that we are resolute to stamp out “agberos,” but that must happen within confines of the laws of the land. Interestingly, people have been commenting and reacting. This shows life in an organised democracy.

“Some of them allege various levels of atrocities committed by Wilfred Ezike for which he ought to have been more severely manhandled and brought to book while counter narratives insist that he should not be manhandled at all. For me, and the Government of Anambra State, nothing justifies brutality, and that is why we will punish the erring operatives.

“According to records published in various platforms, Wilfred Ezike had been in and out of prison custody for alleged murder of innocent people while “with his boys, extorting money from them. He is said to be a major kingpin of toutism in whose hands people have gone through hell.

“We were informed that there was widespread jubilation among Onitsha traders and ‘keke’ operators when they heard about his arrest. They alleged that he was dreaded, but that (if true) does not imply that SASA should not follow the law in dealing with him.

“Other comments are that SASA operatives may have been enraged because, according to them, he wrote a petition against them falsely alleging that they killed somebody along Niger Street, Onitsha.

“SASA was further quoted as saying that he did that to commence his effort to cripple its job so as to continue his unholly business. Police investigation is said to support SASA’s position that the petition was unfounded.

“General comments have also expressed opinions that Wilfred had been prominent in fighting previous administrations to a standstill in their effort to curb the State of touts and their activities.”

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may have missed