|not the real picture, just a caricature|
A police corporal, Mr. Innocent Yusuf, with force number 362920, on Tuesday allegedly assaulted a commercial motorcyclist, popularly known as okada rider, on Ikosi Road, Ketu, Lagos.
Source learnt that the victim, Mr. Raphael Omorodion, had just stopped in front of the park near Mobolaji Johnson Avenue to drop off a passenger when the policeman accosted him and allegedly attempted to seize his motorcycle with registration number, Lagos Y132AKD.
Angered by Omorodion’s resistance to cooperate with him, the policeman reportedly slapped the okada rider twice before spraying a substance believed to be dried pepper in his eyes.
Omorodion, who began to cry profusely, attracted other okada riders in the area.
Omorodion said amid tears, “I don’t know what I did to warrant such act of cruelty. The Lagos State Government has said it did not ban okada but the police are still exploiting us.
“I have been working all day and I did nothing wrong by parking my okada by the park, yet the policeman wanted to extort money from me and because I refused to offer him a bribe, he wants to kill me.”
When a Punch Journalist, who witnessed the scene, attempted to intervene, Yusuf threatened to beat him up and said he was the one in charge of okada riders’ activities in the area.
The Journalist learnt that although the state government claims it has not placed a ban on okadaoperations, policemen have continued to arrest and harass commercial motorcyclists.
It was learnt that all the motorcycles which were seized by the state police command had not been returned to their owners despite claims by the government that it did not order their confiscation.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Mr. Joseph Jaiyeoba, told our correspondent on the telephone that he was not aware of the assault, but said the complainant should report the case.
“If at all the okada rider was assaulted by the policeman, the victim should go and report at the nearest police station and should not just keep mum,” he said.