Former Governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha says there is nothing like police brutality in Nigeria.
Okorocha had, however, slammed the police in December 2021 for abducting his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu.
“There is nothing like police brutality. There is only youths brutalising youths. The police that brutalises his brother on the streets did so not because he is a police but because he is a young man frustrated,” Mr Okorocha asserted.
Mr Okorocha, who declared interest to run for president in 2023 in January, made the assertion while referencing the #EndSARS protest in an interview with Arise TV on Tuesday.
Last December, Mr Okorocha had accused the police of abducting his son-in-law Uche Nwosu and assaulting his wife at a church service.
He said the police also assaulted his daughter.
In October 2020, Nigerian youths hit the streets across the country in the #EndSARS protest against prolonged police brutality in Nigeria.
Disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigerian police, justice for victims of police brutality and better welfare for police officers were part of the demands of the #EndSARS protesters.
On October 20, 2020, Nigerian soldiers opened live rounds on the protesters at Lekki Tollgate, killing and injuring some of them, eliciting global outrage.
After months of hearing testimonies of witnesses, lawyers, experts, among others, the panel submitted its report on the shooting of protesters at the Lekki Tollgate, to the Lagos government.
In its report, the panel described the incident as a massacre and established that the Nigerian military shot live bullets and killed several protesters, as well as taking corpses away in their vans. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu subsequently set up a four-member committee to raise a white paper on the reports submitted by the panel.
“There was no single arrest warrant on Uche Nwosu; nothing at all. It was like a kidnap… if not for the fact that we have confirmed that it was the police, the initial fear was that these were gunmen that have come to kill Uche Nwosu,” stated Mr Okorocha.
The cops had stormed St Peter’s Anglican Church Eziama-Obaire Nkwerre LGA, to arrest Mr Nwosu attending his late mother’s thanksgiving service. The policemen were said to have shot sporadically into the air before arresting Mr Okorocha’s son-in-law.
Amidst widespread reports that Mr Nwosu had been kidnapped by unknown gunmen, Michael Abattam, the police spokesman in Imo, in a statement, confirmed that he was in police custody.
The former governor representing the Imo West Senatorial District at the National Assembly, said there was no “justifiable reason” for the police to invade the church to arrest Mr Nwosu.