This is a video story shared by Brekete Family. It is about the ordeal of a Nigerian citizen in the hands of the Nigerian Police Force.
Solomon Bawa hails from Ajaga Family in Karo LGA of Nasarawa State.
In 2019, he was on his way to repair the tyre of his pickup when he was accosted by the Police who asked him if he knew any Bawa Gambo. He replied in the negative but they asked him to enter their vehicle to follow them to the station at Masaka.
On reaching there, they asked about his identity again and he told them his name, Solomon Bawa. After pressuring him to identify as Bawa Gambo and not getting a result, they took away his belt and shoes, then locked him up in a cell until daybreak.
He kept asking why he was locked up and got no response. Instead he got beaten and later transferred to State CID, Lafia. Here, he was beaten repeatedly and forced to identify as Bawa Gambo or tell them the whereabouts.
An Igbo trader who saw him, travelled to Solomon’s home on his behalf, to inform his family of what is going on. His mother came to attest that his name is Solomon but was given no attention. Instead, he got beaten by one Inspector Usman Amgbashi to the extent that he got his forehead injured and lost his entire right arm to shrinking and paralysis.
Another Policeman, Inspector Ado Bature, advised him to accept the identity of Bawa Gambo or face more beating, especially as it was getting too much and may lead to his death and nothing will happen. Solomon had to accept, in the hopes that when he gets to court, he can explain himself. But this was not to be as he spent some months there. The only visitor he frequently had, his mother, died about 2 months after he had been held at the State CID.
After then, no one visited anymore and Solomon could not help crying everyday, at his loss. He was then transferred to Lafia Prison without being charged to court. He spent about 3 years in prison until he met with the Comptroller and explained his situation and ill-health. He was then transferred to Keffi Prison, where he spent another year but was getting some form of treatment on the now deformed hand.
Respite came in the form of a human rights lawyer, Barrister C.Y. Masha, who listened to his story when she came to the Prison. She took it upon herself to verify his identity by going to his hometown and retrieving his certificates, then pursued the matter until he was due to appear in court. It turns out that the said ‘Bawa Gambo’ had already appeared and bailed himself at the State CID while Solomon remained imprisoned.
After the first court session, the police never showed up again, despite Musa making multiple appearance with his lawyer, Barrister C.Y. Masha. He was then asked to provide two surety so he can be bailed, which he did. He went to retrieve his phone from State CID. He saw Inspector Usman Amgbashi, approached him and greeted him. He proceeded to tell him that he came for his phone but was warned never to step his foot there again or get beaten.
On October 4, after another no-show at the courts by the Police, he was advised by the same Igbo trader to go to Brekete Family to tell his story and possibly, get justice.
Today, the matter is being handled by the IGP himself, who called for a thorough investigation.
It’s a bag of mixed fortunes ahead for Solomon, who now has to get justice with a deformed right hand, a permanent scar on his head, a late mother and four years of his life gone ‘for nothing’