This actually took place in the outskirts of the FCT, Karu-site to be precise. It was after I had just began preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God with my megaphone on the streets, sometime in 2003, as I had often done since the beginning of that year.
All of a sudden, I saw a man get up from a bench he was seating on close by, come close to me and ordered someone else, a guy to take me, but they were both on mufti.
While I was yet wondering what was going on, someone else, another guy, came and said he was going to follow me to wherever they were taking me, to see what they up to and probably to stand as a witness, because he didn’t see anything wrong in what I was doing. In fact he was already attentive waiting to hear what I had to say before the interruption.
Although I was moved by the gesture, it appeared to offend the men as they now, I think, handcuffed the both of us with one handcuff, and dragged us to the Karu-site Police Station which was just close by which confirmed that they were actually policemen.
But when we arrived at the Station, instead of taking us to its reception so we could be properly interrogated, they took us somewhere hidden, at the back the back of the Station, probably a room where they torture some of those they arrest, to show that the arrest was ulterior motivated and unwarranted.
Then once we had entered into the room, and the man who brought us there had leveled some accusations, which I can’t remember, against me before the policemen inside the room, and the supposed offense of the other guy which was his decision to follow me, they began to brutalize us.
It wasn’t that seriously though, but we had received a few slaps and blows to our body and our heads were hit together.
I can remember after one of them slapped me, i turned the other cheek for him, but he rejected the offer and still slapped me on the same cheek.
One of the policemen, probably their boss there appeared not to find any fault in what we had done that warranted our arrest, so was casually telling them to release us.
After they had stopped hitting us, one of them, the same who rejected my offer of the other cheek, compared us to Paul and Silas. He jokingly said something about both of us praying like Paul and Silas, and imagining what it would be like if the same thing which happened to the prison they were happened to the Police Station.
Not long after that they released us, so our brief stay there seemed to end on a lighter note since it was clear that we hadn’t committed any offence that warranted our arrest. However by then, the guy who arrested us had already left, but before he left he had given me a stern warning me not to see me doing what I did again, which was to preach the Gospel of Christ on the streets of Abuja, otherwise I would see what he’d do to me.
To be honest, I was quite shaken a bit by his threat since it was the first time I got arrested and persecuted for such, but that wasn’t enough to deter me as I continued preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom on the same streets probably that same day, and continued doing that for a while.
Although it was an experience which I took in my stride as part of what comes with the life i’d begun to live for the sake of the Gospel of Christ, because Jesus had already warned us that we would face such brutality for His Gospel and namesake, that doesn’t justify what the policemen had done or absolve them of their wrongdoing.
And this took place as far back as 2003 during the tenure of Obasanjo to show that police brutality didn’t begin today or with this government as some think, but has been here for a long time. It’s only gotten worse over time.
Hence the #endpolicebrutality protest is a very welcome development, and perhaps long overdue, because the essence of the Police Force is not brutality but the security of lives and properties.