NSCDC operatives beat up newspaper vendors
Operatives of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) severely beat up three newspaper vendors yesterday in Akwa Ibom State.
One of the vendors, John Peter, told reporters in Uyo, the state capital, said he left the Idongesit Nkanga Secretariat for the office of The Punch to obtain some copies of the newspaper for sale.
Peter said when he got back to the secretariat in the afternoon few minutes after 2pm, he heard someone calling him.
Peter said he needed to reach out to those he had supplied papers to in the morning before they close from work since they are all civil servants.
According to him, after he had walked away from the civil defence operatives like 20 metres away, one of the operatives called him back and asked if he (Peter) did not know that someone was calling him.
Peter said he told them that he did not know it was they (the civil defence) that were calling him, explaining that that he thought it was a lady who wanted to buy paper that was asking him (Peter) to come.
Peter said: “I ran to a police checkpoint at Atiku Abubakar Highway.
One of the policemen asked me what happened and I narrated my ordeal to him. He led me to the NSCDC operatives. They threatened beating the police officer as one of them raised gun to shoot the police officer.
And at the presence of the police officer, they raised the gun to hit me, I dodged, but the gun hit the police officer who took me to them.
“They ordered the police officer to release me to them, saying they were looking for me. The police officer refused to release me to them.
The police officer then asked me to call my boss. And when my boss, Uwe and the chairman of the Newspapers Distribution Agencies, Ezedom came, they got me out.
The other, Lucky Peter, said the NSCDC operatives seized him and his friend, John Mark, saying they made his brother Peter to escape.
He stated that apart from the operatives beating, tear gassing, and injuring them with the butt of the guns, they collected undisclosed He said: “When the civil defence noticed that I was the one that
asked my brother to run, they held two of us, luckily for my brother, he escaped. They tortured us, we were beaten with gun butts, they tear gassed us; they also kicked us with their boots. My two eyes have been
“They took us to their station. We were almost being put in their cell, save for one of their officers, who came to our rescue. He asked for our medical test because of the blood we sustained from the injury
they inflicted on us. They could not give the test report. They came to discover that we are vendors, but the operatives alleged that we attacked them. The man asked them to let us go, that we are vendors.
“They wrote undertaking by themselves and asked us to sign. The undertaking read that we attacked the operatives. We had no option but sign as they pointed guns at us.”
The Public Relations Officer, NSCDC, Akwa Ibom State Command, Ime White, said he was yet to be briefed on the development.
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