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Pregnant pepper seller Assualted by buyer and detained by POLICE because of N50.

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A Pregnant woman, 30, identified as Iyabo Taiwo, who sells pepper on Hassan Ogunlana Street, Ijaiye, Lagos State.

She has been traumatized after her illegal detention at the Police Station after she reported a case of assault carried out on her by a relative of a senior Police officer at the Meiran Police Station, identified as Simon, aka Best allegedly pushed her into a gutter because of N50 change from the previous day sales.

It happened that Simon bought pepper from this woman last Monday and was supposed to collect N50 change from her. The following day(Tuesday), it was gathered that Taiwo went to visit her ill husband at the hospital & that made her not to open her shop.

She just arrived her shop on Wednesday and to her shock best approached her for his change, she claimed to have told him to come back again son she could make some money to pay him the N50 but Best decided to do it forcefully and resorted to taking her goods.

The woman spoke in Yoruba saying:

"I explained to him that I had used all the money on me to buy peppers and begged him to give me little time to sell so that I will give him the change.

“But he dipped his hands into a basket to pack some peppers. So, I held his shirt. He freed himself from my grip and threw me into a gutter. I went to report at the Meiran Police Station and some policemen followed me to arrest him.

“On getting to the station, he spoke in English and Igbo with a police officer. Then, a policeman told me that some people beat him (Simon) and that I would be detained until they arrest those people. Simon was told to go.” 

She was illegally detained until her colleagues from the Pepper Association came to her rescue paying N4500(i thought bail is supposed to be free) before her release the evening of the next day(Thursday).

“My pregnancy is over seven months now. I have gone to do a scan at a hospital to know the condition of my baby. The result will be out on Monday (today).

“The Commissioner of Police invited me and some policemen to his office in Ikeja on Friday. He was angry with them and told them to refund the N4,500. They asked me to come for the money on Monday (today).” 

It was said that upon Taiwo's release, Simon mobilized some thugs to beat up two men who cautioned him for treating the pregnant woman in that manner.

An anonymous source said: “Some policemen came, but none of the hoodlums was arrested. The Divisional Police Officer of the station and the guy (Simon) that beat the pepper seller are Igbo. We also learnt that he has a relative at the station.”

It was gathered that after the hoodlums beat up the men, the Police still got the victims arrested.

A victim who Best contracted his thugs for, his wife speaks:

“He didn’t know anything about the incident. They handcuffed him; his elder brother took food to him at the station. He was released on Saturday evening.”

However, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, said neither the pregnant woman nor Waheed was detained.

He said the CP had intervened in the matter, adding that some policemen were being queried in respect of the case.

He said: 
“The Igbo man wanted to collect his change and she pleaded with him that she had not sold anything for the day. The guy was adamant. It was just a mere human misunderstanding. She was not detained from Wednesday to Thursday; that is not true. The case was not turned against the pregnant woman.

“All the parties involved have been invited and investigation is ongoing. Those that caused a breakdown of law and order have been arrested. The CP is aware; those officers involved are already undergoing investigations to know the police action as regards the incident. We will go to the scene to know what transpired.

“The provost of the command is investigating and if there was any misconduct as regards police action, we will deal with that departmentally.”

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