A Port Harcourt based pharmacist, Dr Lucky Legbosi Nwidu, has called on the Nigerian Police to refund the bail sum collected from him by their officers from Oxuoba police station, Port Harcourt.
Nwidu, who is also the Chairman of his neighbourhood, a Senior Lecturer at the University of PortHarcourt and Director of Luckpharm Pharmacy claimed he was unlawfully arrested, detained and made to part with the sum of N20,000, against his will.
Narrating his ordeal in the hands of the police, the pharmacist said the treatment meted out on him was inhumane.
“I was in my house at 93 Owoloma Road, Rumuigbo, on 8th of May 2020, preparing to deliver an online lecture when I heard uproar from the Pharmaceutical store adjacent my house. I heard a call from the Nurses, “sir, sir come to my help”. I thought it was armed robbery attempt.
“When I got to the Pharmacy, I saw two armed police men – a lady in mofty and a police woman, Mrs. Bukky, draging the Nurse to enter into the police van from Oxuoba police station parked in front of the pharmacy.
“I requested from them what the problem was, Mrs Bukky, the inspector police lady said the governor authorized a total lockdown that why should we open the Pharmacy.
“I introduced myself and let them know that pharmacist and other health care staffs are permitted to run essential duties. They insisted that the Governor authorized a total lockdown. I pleaded that they could not take away my staff; they should take me instead because I permitted them to open the Pharmacy to provide essential services in line with the permit from the Ministry of Health.
“I was arrested and taken away in the Oxuoba police van. A few metres away from the Pharmacy, the police accosted a young girl and a boy who said they were coming to the Pharmacy to buy drugs because of acute diarrhoea and they were arrested. We were taken to the police station at Oxuoba. I insisted on seeing the DPO CSP Ogowoke, Inspector Bukky said she had informed the DPO and he had authorized my detention that I was sabotaging the lockdown.
“I became confused as I was undressed and put inside the cell which dimension was 12ft by 12ft. After 1 hour the DPO came to count the number of people in the cells, we were 19 inmates. I pleaded to go in the cell with my face -mask, the police denied me. Every 10 to 20 minutes the Police kept bringing in their culprits.
“By 1pm, I pleaded to make call to my family to arrange for my bail. At this time we were 39 inmates. Inspector Bukky, the DPO who had me arrested and detained came in and I had an altercation with her that she could not have so many Omega Power Ministries (OPM) bangles in her hand and be this wicked to the extent of arresting someone going to fill a prescription for diarrhoea.
“I told her I am a minister in OPM and I teach in the Sunday School Department and what she was doing is contrary to what the church whose bangles were loaded on her hand preaches. She got infuriated that I am a fake pastor of OPM and she will deal with me.
“After she had dealt with me till 1pm and I was helpless in the cell. I called her and pleaded with her to allow me make a call to someone to come and bail me. She brought me out of the cell and gave me my phone to call my family to talk with my Barister to come and bail me. When my Lawyer came and introduce himself, Inspector Bukky was so infuriated at me that why did I have to call my Lawyer and not my wife.
“My Lawyer brought the permit from Ministry of Health authorising healthcare personnel to run essential services. He was rebuffed by the DPO and she told him to bring #100,000.00, if not the police will send me to quarantine centre. After much pleading the DPO collected #20,000 and released me from detention.
“Over 20 years ago, I swore to the Pharmacy oath to be a faithful Pharmacist who will provide pharmaceutical services to my community, the major reason for which the police because of greed arrested me from home for over seven and half hours without food and water. Nigerian is this fair to me and my profession?
“The police have to return the money paid to them by my Lawyer and tender apologies to Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and Nigerian Bar Association for this ill-treatment. All the officers and DPO who meted out this unlawful detention to me need to be sanctioned. Make this post viral until the Inspector General of police is reached”, the victim said.