An Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, Mala B. Shehu, has threatened to kill a Daily Trust columnist and activist, Gimba Kakanda, after ordering his men to beat up and dehumanise him, along with others during the #EndSARS protest in Abuja.
Recall that some Nigerian youths had been on the streets protesting against the brutality of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, unit of the Nigeria Police Force.
Following pressures mounted by the protesting youths under the tag: #EndSARS, President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the disbandment of the police unit on Sunday.
However, these mass actions did not go without bruises on the side of the protesters during their encounter with the police operatives who tried to resist the protest.
On Sunday morning, the police had tear-gassed and used water cannon on the protesters who marched from Unity Fountain toward the Force Headquarters.
Mr Kakanda was among many of the protesters who were attacked by the police during the protest.
Narrating his ordeal to the Daily Trust on Friday, Mr Kakanda said that a few minutes after the protesting crowd was dispersed, they got attacked by the police officers on their way to pick up their vehicles from where they had parked them.
He said: “When we reached the first barricade and explained ourselves they let us in. We didn’t know it was ploy.”
According to him, after reaching for their vehicles, armed policemen confronted them.
“I tried to explain myself. At that time I was on the phone with a friend who is a police officer himself. I was attempting to hand over my phone to the man talking to us when someone hit me hard with a stick from behind. They grabbed the phone and smashed it on the road.
“There were a number of vehicles there aside ours. But these policemen went on rampage immediately by using knives to tear as many tyres as they could. They destroyed three of my own,” he explained.
After destroying the tyres, Mr Kakanda said the policemen turned on them with clubs.
“I was using my hands to protect my face and head and that was how they caused serious injuries on my hands,” he narrated.
“They dehumanised us as much as they could and kept boasting that they could have killed us and erased every trace of our existence.”
Mr Kakanda said after the initial round of beating, the policemen then dragged them before their superior.
“The officer, an ASP, with the name tag “MB Shehu” was very hostile and was direct in his threats. He told us that we were lucky it was daytime that had it been it was at night they would have killed us.
“’I’ll waste you right now and nobody can do anything to me’,” Mr Kakanda quoted the police officer saying.
He said the police officer ordered his subordinates to take the two activists into the police headquarters for more beating before handing them over to SARS.
“He asked us why we didn’t go to protest at the SARS offices instead; when Ibrahim tried to explain that the Force headquarters was the right place for such action, they started slapping him again,” Mr Kakanda said.
However, DAILY NIGERIAN‘s attempts to contact the said officer proved abortive as his mobile phone was switched off at the time of filing this report.