By Jimitota Onoyume
A driver, conveying Vanguard newspapers from Yenagoa to Port Harcourt, Mr. Austin Akezue, was molested yesterday around Emohua Junction on the East-West Road by men of the Rivers State Police Command for allegedly refusing to part with N100 gratification.
Narrating his ordeal in the hands of the men of SARS, the driver said one of them, who had earrings on his ear, stopped his vehicle to a halt at about 5a.m., requesting for his vehicle papers and drivers licence.
He said he gave the officer the papers. But the SARS man, who did not appear impressed that his papers were intact, abandoned him to chat with his colleagues.
He said: “I pleaded with him that I was conveying copies of Vanguard newspapers meant for Port Harcourt metropolis for the day. This provoked the SARS man and the next thing I got was a slap. He was angry that I was not willing to part with bribe.”
He said the SARS man’s colleague also joined in beating him.
Showing Vanguard his battered face and injuries to his leg, Mr. Akezue said it was God’s grace that saved him, adding that the SARS personnel at a time even boasted that he would shoot him dead and nothing would happen.
Akezue said the disturbing thing was that the man did not look like the normal responsible Policeman on the road.
According to him, “he had ear rings on. If not for the rifle and that he was operating in front of the Police Station around the Emohua Junction with other personnel around, you would think you had fallen into the wrong hands. I still feel pains all over my body.”