Policemen on chief judge’s convoy beat up family of fed lawmaker

Police officers attached to the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Godwin Abraham, allegedly assaulted family members of a federal lawmaker from the state for “not giving way” to the speeding cars on the judge’s convoy.
The lawmaker, Owoidighe Ekpoattai, who represents Eket Federal Constituency, Akwa Ibom State, in the House of Representatives, was not involved in the incident as she was in Abuja.
At least, two of her relatives sustained bruises from the incident which happened around 6:30pm on March 8 in Uyo.
Andrew Godwin, a relative of Mrs Ekpoattai, who narrated what happened, said he was driving a Nissan car along Oron Road, Mbiabong area, where he had gone to buy diesel for a power generating set and was heading back home when he heard a siren blaring behind.
There were two other persons – a young man and a lady – seated at the back of the car.
“We saw a convoy coming behind us with siren, vehicles were much on the road, you know how the timber market area is. So, we created space on the road for the convoy to pass. The next thing, I saw a koboko (horsewhip) from the Hilux in the convoy struck me on my face,” Godwin, a 22-year-old Engineering student of University of Uyo told PREMIUM TIMES on the night of the incident.
The Ekpoattais live in Shelter Afrique Estate, Uyo, a few kilometres from where Godwin was allegedly struck with horsewhip.
Godwin said that when he noticed the convoy make a turn into the estate, he and the other fellows inside the car decided to follow them to inquire what their offence was.
The convoy stopped in front of the chief judge’s residence in the estate.
“When the convoy stopped in the estate, I came out from the car and asked the policeman ‘Oga, why did you flog me like that?’ The man slapped me immediately. I fell down on the ground. He kicked me and used his gun to hit me. I ran into the bush, and from there ran to our house,” Godwin said.
The chief judge witnessed the incident, it was learnt.
Godwin ran to their house and alerted the lawmaker’s husband, Ime Ekpoattai.
Ekpoattai, a former commissioner in the state, hurriedly went to the scene. But his presence didn’t prevent the police officers from further molestation of his family members, just as his personal driver, Jimmy Effiong who came along with him was also beaten up by the police officers.
Effiong, who sustained bruises from the assault, said the police officers took on him and hit him with the butts of their guns when he protested the harassment of Ekpoattai.
He added that the policemen wanted to throw him into their pick-up truck, but he resisted; and that, at that point, they tried to frame him up as being in possession of a machete.

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