The FCT Command of the Nigeria Police Force has failed to arrest the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Umar, who was caught on video allegedly assaulting a security guard, Clement Sargwak, around Banex Shopping Plaza, Wuse 2, Abuja, on Monday.
However, it was learnt that a trader, Peter Onyuike, had been arrested by the Department of State Services and then handed over to the police for allegedly assaulting the CCT chairman while other traders are being hunted.
A document made available to The PUNCH on Friday showed that the police were investigating traders for criminal conspiracy, joint act, assault, criminal force, and mischief.
In a letter with reference number CR:3000/FCT/X/D15/Vol which was addressed to the company in charge of security at the plaza, the police asked that another trader, Oyuho Augustine Samuel, be brought to the Anti-Vice Section of the Criminal Investigation Department at Wuse Zone 2 on April 6, 2021.
The letter which was signed by ACP Magawata Mode, and addressed to Jul Reliable Security Guards, is titled, ‘Letter of Invitation, case of criminal conspiracy, joint act, assault, criminal force and mischief: Oyuho Augustine Samuel’.
The letter, dated April 1, 2021, read in part, “The office is investigating the above-mentioned case in which the need to obtain certain clarification from one Oyuho Augustine Samuel, who operates a shop within your business premises became pertinent.
“In view of the above, you are kindly requested to avail yourself to interview the undersigned through CSP Njayo Yahaya Bawuchi, sectional Head, Anti-Vice Section, No. 34 Koforidua Street, off Ouagadougou Street off Accra Street, off Michael Opara Street, Wuse Zone 2 on April 6, 2021 at 10am prompt.”
Speaking with The PUNCH, the lawyer to the brutalised security guard, Mr. Samuel Ihensekhien, said it was unfortunate that the police had abandoned the substantive issue but were chasing traders who videoed the incident.
Ihensekhien said the arrested trader had been tortured to write statements to the effect that the CCT chairman was the victim of a mob attack at the plaza.
The lawyer said if the police compromised the case, he would be forced to institute an action in court.
He said, “There is a dangerous dimension to the matter. When the police came on March 30, the day of the incident, they were led by one Supol Moses Simdok. They interviewed Sargwak (the guard). They took pictures of the boy and the injuries. They asked for his uniform and we said we would provide it later.
“They said the CP of Abuja wanted to see us and I asked that an official letter be brought and we would all come. Subsequently, Simdok started insulting me. After taking my client’s statement, they said they needed collaborator witnesses so we went to search. One guy, who witnessed it first hand, and had a video, wrote statements as well as another trader. The police later said they should come to the station but I refused.
“Today, I was contacted by the manager of the security guard that there is an invitation letter to report to the Anti-Vice section for frivolous allegations. When he made further inquiries, they said the first guy that was arrested confessed in police custody that he beat up the CCT chairman. I was informed that the police wrote a statement for him and told him to sign it.”
The lawyer noted that the CCT chairman does not have immunity but the police have continued to take his side.
“Danladi is a private citizen and he has no right to arrest any private citizen. The Code of Conduct Tribunal has a very limited jurisdiction. The main case should be about the security guard that was assaulted but they are twisting the matter and trying to accuse people of assaulting Danladi Umar,” the lawyer said.
The spokesperson for the police in Abuja, Mariam Yusuf, did not respond to a telephone call on Friday. A text message had not yet been responded to as of press time.