Some road users in Oyo State have accused Muyiwa Adejobi, the Nigeria Police Force’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), of abuse of power.
The commuters, Samuel Oluwatosin Ige, Ayomide Taiwo and Temitope Yusuf Akinigan, said Adejobi ordered their arrest in Ibadan on Monday after a disagreement while stuck in traffic.
“My friends and I, three of us, were going to Akala Road because a friend of mine got married on Saturday. We were making arrangements to return most of the instruments and the rented equipment we used to various destinations. In the process of doing this, there was a huge traffic congestion along Olusoji and Akala Road. There was a big truck on the road that got faulty, hence the traffic,” Ige told FIJ.
“People were creating space while others drove ahead. They will give space and those who can drive will drive. It was a usual traffic issue that would stop drivers and cars on the road. We got to the place where we were to manoeuvre around the faulty truck in order to get to the main road in Akala.
“On getting to that point, we saw a car that was not ready to give us a sign as we approached. We told the driver of the car to give us a chance to go so that he could have some space to move on as well. But he ignored us.”
The friends turned off their car engine because of the gridlock caused by the other car. They considered it a normal disagreement that happens on the road. At some point, they considered leaving the car on the road to return later but ditched the idea.
“We never even got into any argument or any fight. Nobody was ready to give way for the other. We wound our windows up and remained in the car looking at each other. The man in the other car came down from the car, brought out his phone and said that he would teach us a lesson. We did not know who he was,” said Ige.
Onlookers tried to dissuade the unknown man from calling the police to make an arrest, FIJ learnt, and police officers arrived about 15 minutes after the phone call to round the three friends up.
“They took us to Kuola Police Station around Apata. Adejobi later came to the station, wrote a statement and asked the DPO to lock us up. In all honesty, the DPO told us to beg him and ask to have everything settled. As an omoluabi, we did as instructed. We prostrated ourselves and apologised to the man but he did not acknowledge our apology. He left us there and we stayed in jail overnight,” Ige said.
The police charged all three friends to court on Tuesday. “We are just leaving the court,” said Ige. “The magistrate attended to our case and we have been granted bail.
“I just feel bad that a public figure such as the PRO, who should protect us, stood against us yesterday. I was so embarrassed we slept inside a cell till daybreak when we could have resolved this matter.”
He said that they were charged with obstruction of traffic. The friends will be in court on July 25 and September 27.
FIJ made several calls to Adejobi but he failed to answer them. He was also yet to respond to a text message sent to him at press time.