The Inspector General of Police has directed investigation into the incident of its officers who filmed a 25 years old woman while they were, in addition to the expected appropriate interrogations, deviating and asking her uncomfortable and in many cases, harassing questions about herself, when she was ‘disvirgined’, why she is not with the person who she lost her virginity to. The young woman, a graduate of University of Ibadan who just finished her Youth Service, was obviously embarrassed and pleaded that they stopped filming her while she explained her innocence, to no avail.
The videos (below) showed one Omobola who says she stays around Iwo Road of Ibadan, handcuffed and being interrogated by a police officer who led other officers at the residence of the armed robbery suspect whose identity is yet to be disclosed. In the video, Omobola was apparently pleading with the officers not to film her, that she comes from a humble, ‘beautiful’ home and would not want her parents to suffer the embarrassment of seeing her being humiliated.
Omobola, whose parents live in Lagos State, explained to the officers that she had sold shoes to the suspect, and swore she was not aware he was into dubious activities. She said that the man had told her that he was into the business of producing and distributing beverages in the city of Ibadan and environs.
When asked why she was in the house of the suspect even when he was not at home, she said she only came into the house the same morning to cook for him. That the man had made a pass at her but she did not sleep with him or stay at the house overnight. She again swore she did not know the man until she sold shoes to him.
Omobola begged the officers not to report her, and asked them to check her phone to verify whatever she has said. She said she does not have people to help her if she gets into trouble.
One citizen by name Olayinka Olaonipekun came across the videos and on Wednesday, tweeted the videos for the benefits of the Nigeria Police authority and social activists, to look into the matter of the manner the young woman was treated. Olaonipekun said, “This is harassment by the Ibadan arm of the Nigerian Police. Even if she’s guilty what sort of questions and harassment is this? @kikimordi @ozzyetomi @StandtoEndRape.”
Nigeria Police responded by saying that “the Inspector General of Police has ordered discreet investigations into the circumstances surrounding the dehumanizing treatment meted out to a female citizen in the above viral video. The IGP, while condemning the act, has directed the commencement of comprehensive investigations aimed at unraveling the true identity of the perpetrators with a view to bringing them to justice. Members of the public are hereby assured that any member of the Force found culpable in the incident will be made to face appropriate sanctions.”
The Nigerian Police authority has had to battle with avalanche of complaints from the Nigerian public regarding the misconduct of their officers. While the authorities have commendably been fishing out the culprits and punishing them, the incidence seems not to abate.
There are indications that the officers involved in the harassment of Omobola have been identified. More updates to follow.
The young woman is only an alleged accomplice and from her anxiety and excited explanations, she may be exonerated. The filming of her and the irrelevant questions which were also filmed, are infractions on her human rights.