One Imo Etimudo, a staff of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, has accused officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) of beating him up on the order of a Port Harcourt Electricity Company (PHEDC) official over refusal to give bribe.
Etimudo alleged that he was assaulted on Saturday, October 17, by the NSCDC officers on the directives of a senior staff of PHEDC identified as Umoh Joseph Offiong.
Narrating his ordeal to Daily Trust in Uyo, Etimudo said that Umoh led the PHEDC team to the estate where he lived to disconnect the electricity lines of residents that have not paid their bills.
He said he was surprised at the PHEDC official’s request because the estate had been without electricity for close to six months and the company has stopped bringing bills.
“The PHEDC people came to where I live at Anniversary Estate along Idoro road in Uyo. We have not had light in the estate for over a year until [Saturday]. They came and knocked at the gate and I opened for them. They demanded for my electricity bill and I told them I don’t have it because we have not had light for over a year and that is maybe why they don’t give us bills,” Etimudo explained.
“They said okay that I should give them money and I asked them what the money they demanded was for. They said their ‘oga'(boss) said I should find them something so I went out to see their ‘oga’. As soon as I went to see their boss, they dropped my wires. At that point I demanded to know why the wires were dropped because we have not enjoyed electricity supply from PHEDC for a very long time,”
“They said they are disconnecting me and going with my wires because I refused to give them money. I insisted they can’t go with their wires after disconnecting me. I tried to stop them from taking the wires away. I wasn’t the only person. There is a serving Army Major-General who is my neighbour. He is in Maiduguri but his family lives here. The man has a prepaid meter inside his house but they still brought down his wires,”
“The branch manager of Keystone Bank lives here too. He has a prepaid meter also. They met him in person and demanded money from him. The man refused to give them money and they brought down his light. I tried reaching the NUJ chairman to intervene but he said he was indisposed so I decided to drive out in my car to seek help,”
“On my way out, close to my apartment, I was blocked by NSCDC and the PHEDC officials who attacked and beat me up and inflicted serious injuries on my head and back. Six of them in addition to eight others supposedly working for PHED. They shot sporadically with live ammunition and everyone ran for safety.
“The Civil Defence guys hit me with their guns, my head had a deep cut, and serious wounds in other parts of my body as well as my shoulder that became dislocated. I bled unconsciously. They “arrested” me into the Toyota Camry which they used for the illegal job. My wife and my parents were equally assaulted for attempting to rescue me. My cousin and my neighbours defied the gun shots and came for me. That delayed their whisking me away like a criminal.
“I began to regain consciousness and put calls to the Chairman of NUJ in Akwa Ibom State and my lawyer friends. I was about to dial the number of the PPRO in Akwa Ibom State when they snatched the phone from me. They told me repeatedly that they can kill me and nothing would happen. When the residents came out again, they disappeared with the speed of light. I was taken to Itam Police Station to report the incident before going to the hospital.”
It was learnt that the State Commandant of NSCDC, Samuel Fadeyi had reached out to the State Chairman of NUJ, who admitted that a meeting was scheduled on Monday to address the matter.
Meanwhile, Etimudo posted photos of the PHEDC staff and NSCDC officials involved in his assault.
See his posts below…