by Isi Esene
A mobile police officer attached to the state government house in Imo got a beating of his life from the governor’s aide-de-camp (ADC) for allegedly delaying opening the gate for the governor’s convoy.
The ADC to Governor Rochas Okorocha, identified as Omo Gabriel, with the help of two other police officers were said to have beaten the victim to a state of unconsciousness around 12:30am on Saturday.
The mobile policeman, Corporal Itere Ewedor, was said to have been on duty at the security post when the governor’s convoy drove in from an event to celebrate the state’s first lady’s birthday.
According to David Edhie, who claims to be a friend of the victim: “When the governor’s convoy got to the gate, the men of the civil defence corps and members of the Imo orientation corps, who were supposed to open the gate, were not around. So, there was a delay. Then my friend went to open the gate.
“When the convoy drove in, the ADC and some other police officers came down and asked him why he delayed. They wanted to collect his gun, but he refused. So, they started beating him. They beat him until he became unconscious, with bruises all over his face and parts of his body.”
After the assault on the mobile police officer, Gabriel reportedly took the victim to Shell Camp Police Station and requested that he be detained.
Edhie said, “The police officers at the station refused. They said they could not detain someone that was dying. Then Gabriel made arrangements for Ewedor to be taken to the Federal Medical Centre Owerri, where he was admitted. After sometime, he regained consciousness.”
He was discharged from the hospital around 5pm on Saturday.
The incident was, however, denied by the state commissioner for information and senior special adviser to the governor on media, Chinedu Offor.
He said, “The ADC to Governor Okorocha is a true professional, there is no way he could have descended so low to physically assault somebody. In order not to scare people away, we use men of the civil defence corps at the gate. We don’t use policemen at the gates of the government house.
So, if anybody says a policeman was beaten up for refusing to open the gate, it is false. I was at the government house around 12:30am. Such a thing never happened.”