The police in Lagos have arrested a chief in the Ijegun area, identified only as Ajiroba, for allegedly assaulting a bread seller, Bukola Olasunkanmi, in the Isheri-Oshun area of the state.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Olasunkanmi, who was seven-month-old pregnant, was allegedly flogged several times by the chief and his thugs because she mediated in an argument involving some levy collectors and another bread seller at the Ijegun bus stop.
Our correspondent gathered that Olasunkanmi, who sustained injuries, was first rushed to a private hospital, and later taken to the Igando General Hospital.
It was gathered that the matter was reported at the Isheri Oshun division and Ajiroba was arrested by the police.
Olasunkanmi claimed that after she reported the matter to the police, she had been receiving threat-to-life phone calls, which made her to write a petition to the state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, and the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in Zone 2, Onikan, Bala Hassan.
Speaking with PUNCH Metro, Olasunkanmi said she had been asked to report at the general hospital daily for checkups to ensure that the assault did not affect the pregnancy.
She said, “I work as a mobile bread vendor, and the assault happened on March 11, 2016, while I was supplying bread to a customer at the Ijegun bus stop. At a point in the transaction, I noticed that another bread vendor had thrown her wooden tray on the bonnet of my car.
“I realised that she was being harassed by some local levy collectors operating in the area. I intervened by pleading with the collectors to let her go as she strapped a baby to her back, I said, ‘Leave this woman alone.’
“It was at this point that one Chief Ajiroba, accompanied by four hoodlums, emerged from a corner with a cane and began to flog me. I was beaten like a criminal at the bus stop despite being pregnant.
“I ran to the Isheri Osun division and reported the matter. Policemen thereafter followed me to the chief and he was detained that day. Although the chief has apologised to me, my fear is that strange people have been visiting my residence since the ecounter.
“Most of them warned me that my life was no longer safe as I dared to report a chief to the police. I want the police to help me out and ensure that justice is served in this matter. I go almost every day to the Igando General Hospital for checkups.”
Our correspondent gathered that the police had granted Ajiroba bail, but he was asked to still report at the station.
When contacted on the telephone, Ajiroba said that he had not met Olasunkanmi before that day. He added that Olasunkanmi and the bread seller were fighting and he flogged the two.
He said, “I did not know she was pregnant. I did not know her before that day. I saw two women fighting at the bus stop and I flogged both of them. I have been begging her to drop this matter.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, confirmed the arrest.
She said, “A case of assault occasioning harm was reported against the suspect.
“Investigation is ongoing. The command will ensure that justice is done.”