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13 Jun 2018

Pastor tackles Rivers cops after tenant assaulted him at police station

A pastor, Peter Adebolu, has accused the Divisional Crime Officers of the Amadi Ama Police Division of colluding with a tenant, one Chidi, who allegedly beat him up at the station.

Adebolu, who is also a real estate manager, alleged that the two DCOs acted on the orders of a superior police officer who was a relative of the tenant.

The Ekiti State indigene called on the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to sanction the DCOs, saying his life was under threat.

PUNCH Metro gathered that Adebolu, who managed a property in Port Harcourt,  Rivers State, had a disagreement with Chidi.

The tenant reportedly got into the house in 2016 via subletting from a former tenant.

The estate manager was alleged to have given him a six-month notice to quit in May 2018.

It was alleged that the tenant, after receiving the notice from the bailiff, demanded a refund of his rent balance, saying his tenancy was to end in October.

The police were reported to have waded into the matter as the tenant alleged that 53-year-old Adebolu had refused to return his balance.

After a meeting, the tenant allegedly promised to renovate the apartment and return the house keys to the manager so as to get his refund.

However, some co-tenants were said to have called the manager’s attention to insinuations that the tenant planned to sublet the apartment to recover his money.

On Sunday, June 3, a woman was alleged to have been sighted packing into the house, and Adebolu, who got wind of the development, went to challenge her.

In a petition to the IG dated June 7, 2018, the complainant said he locked up the house and went to the station to make a report.

 “Two officers were assigned to go with me to arrest the suspect and bring her to the station. At the station, we were writing our statements on what really transpired when Chidi, in company with some strange looking men, stormed the station in a commando style.

“Before anybody could say a word, he had attacked me, held me by the neck and tore my shirt. I was gasping for breath.

“Policewomen in the station raised the alarm, which made their male counterparts to pull him away from me. By then, he had already inflicted much damage on me. I was writhing in pain,” he said.

Adebolu claimed that despite being held, the tenant still threatened to kill him at the station.

He alleged that when Chidi refused to calm down, the policemen pushed him behind the counter where he continued to curse and issue threats at him. He said the policemen later put him inside a cell.

“Immediately, the people that followed him, including his wife, began to make calls to somebody outside whom I suspect should be a top police officer because the man started to shout from inside the cell that his wife’s father was a Chief Superintendent of Police,” he added.

He said a few minutes afterwards, the DCO-2 arrived and ordered that Chidi be brought out.

Adebolu claimed that the police officer reprimanded his estranged tenant “lightly” and asked him (Adebolu) to forgive him for the aggression.

He said he insisted that the police charge the tenant to court for the assault.

“The second DCO’s countenance changed against me. He sent me out of his office and ordered that they should grant the guy bail on self recognition.

“We were made to write statements. I went further to make an entry at the counter. I surrendered the key I used to lock the house to the Investigating Police Officer, one Inspector Daisy. To my surprise, soon after my lawyer and I left the station, they handed over the key to Chidi, who went ahead to put the suspected trespasser into the house, claiming that she was his sister,” he said.

Adebolu, who noted that the Divisional Police Officer was not around when the incident happened, said the action of the two DCOs smacked of compromise and bias.

 “The DCO-1, at our meeting the next day (Monday), turned himself to an advocate of the tenant. He refused to allow me to justify my fears concerning the unknown person entering my property through the back door. He said since Chidi had claimed that the lady was his sister, I must accept it.

“As if this was not enough, he justified Chidi’s assault that it was because of what I did. The fact that Chidi committed the crime right inside the station did not earn a single mention from the man. He simply dismissed it.

“As the inspector (Daisy) was explaining things to DCO-1, he kept defending Chidi even though he was not at the station then. He even queried Daisy on why Chidi was detained in the first instance. Daisy had to repeat several times that it was because he assaulted me. Then, he got angry, asking her who signed the detention order. He shouted that anybody less than the rank of an ASP could not sign a detention order. He threatened that some people would pay for it,” he added.

The estate manager noted that when he insisted on the matter being charged to court, the DCO-1 threatened to charge him as well for locking up the house against the new female occupant.

Adebolu asked the IG to investigate the matter, saying policemen at the station were witnesses.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, said although the complainant had a right to petition the IG, he should have first approached the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed.

He asked our correspondent to speak to the Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni.

Omoni, when contacted, promised to call back our correspondent after speaking to the DPO of the station.

He had yet to do so as of press time.

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