The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu, has disclosed that a total of 27 officers of the force have suffered series of attacks and assaults from member of the public since the commencement of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) enforcement duties across the country.
Mohammed Adamu said many of these officers are still in hospitals receiving treatment from the injuries sustained during such attacks.
Adamu said these include a female police officer, PC Ngozi Nkem, in Agbor, Delta State who was seriously assaulted when a police team was dispersing a group of persons holding a birthday party in clear disobedience to the social restrictions and distancing orders.
He stated this while commending the DCO II, Eruwa Police Division, ASP Adeyemo Ogunyemi, for his uncommon restraint and professionalism in the face of unprovoked attack as shown in a viral video where a woman identified as Kehinde Afolake was seen assaulting him unchallenged and without retaliation.
Afolake was said to have attacked Ogunyemi while he was carrying out the Coronavirus (COVID-19) enforcement duties at Gbolagunte, Okeola area of Eruwa, Ibarapa, Oyo State on 1st May, 2020.
A statement issued on Sunday by the Force Spokesman, Frank Mba, said the officer, “like a lamb being led to the slaughter, did not fight back but rather, maintained absolute calm, patience and decorum even as the woman rough handled him and slapped him severally.”
According to the statement, the said woman also assaulted two female police officers, Ojola Abiola and Queen Eguaoje and gave one of them human bite on Saturday, 2nd May, 2020 during an attempt to invite her to the Police Station for the earlier incident of serious assault on the DCO.
“The Ewura incident thus is a classic example of unprovoked, unwarranted and unnecessary attacks faced by police officers in the course of performing their legitimate duties. The IGP therefore warns that this trend will no longer be tolerated by the Force,” the statement reads briefly.
“The IGP notes that since the commencement of the COVID-19 enforcement duties, a total of 27 police personnel have suffered series of attacks and assaults from members of the public at different times and different locations. Many of these officers, he reiterates are still in hospitals receiving treatment from the injuries sustained during such attacks. These include a female police officer, PC Ngozi Nkem, in Agbor, Delta State who was seriously assaulted when a police team was dispersing a group of persons holding a birthday party in clear disobedience to the social restrictions and distancing orders.”
The police boss noted further that apart from the attack on the person of police officers, some of these citizens have equally carried out attacks on police assets and facilities.
“For example, two (2) police stations and police quarters were attacked and burnt down in Katsina and Abia States while fifteen (15) police vehicles/motorcycles were also damaged.”
The statement revealed that the IGP has directed the Commissioner of Police, Oyo Command to carry out a discreet investigation into the Ewura attack on the police officers and ensure that justice is done.
He called on the citizens to continue to cooperate with the police and other security personnel and voluntarily comply with all COVID-19 prevention orders.
He reiterated that the force shall continue to hold officers accountable and mete out commensurate punishments on any personnel who violate the rights of the citizens.
He however, warned against any unprovoked attack and assault on police officers while in the course of their duties as perpetrators will be made to face the full wrath of the law.