The Lagos State Police Command has reacted to a viral video of a man who was assaulted by SARS operatives till he became lifeless.
The incident, according to those who shared the video, happened at Haruna bus-stop, in the Ogba area of Lagos on Monday.
One eyewitness said the victim had only just stepped out of an eatery when the operatives pounced on him, demanding to search his phone.
His refusal to allow his phone get scanned through by the SARS operatives resulted in barrage of slaps and kicks.
In a public reaction to the video, former police spokesperson in the state, CSP Dolapo Badmos, claimed the police commissioner in the state, Imohimi Edgal had confirmed to her that the policemen in the viral video had been identified.
“As I speak to you now, they are in his office undergoing interrogation,” she said authoritatively.
She went on to say the police boss had “informed me of the punishment he would mete out to them!”
“I’m so hopeful because the CP is pained,” she added.
But the police has said CSP Badmos told a lie. The command said no such incident happened in Ogba.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the police said plain-clothed officers went to the alleged scene of the incident and residents conformed no such thing occurred.
“The attention of the Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to the news making the rounds on the social media that SARS operatives, on Monday 9th of April, 2018, beat a citizen until he was dead,” the police’s statement read.
“Based on the video clip of the incident which went viral on the social media, the Command began an investigation into matter.
“Part of its findings was that no such incident took place at Haruna Bus stop, Ogba on Monday 9th April,2018; there was no record of it being reported at any of the police formations within Ogba Area Command nor was it reported at any of the Command’s complaint platforms.
“Besides the above, it is a common knowledge that such an incident cannot happen in the city of Lagos without an uproar at the venue of incident; it is in this regards that plain clothes detectives were deployed to enquire from the people living and doing business around the popular Haruna bus stop whether such incident ever happened in their area and not a few were embarrassed by such question because according to them it never happened.”
But the the former police spokesperson was so sure the SARS operatives in the video had been apprehended. So, what changed?
The blatant contradiction indicates that either the Chief Superintendent of Police, Dolapo Badmos was misinformed, or the state police command is lying.