Lawyer petitions DSS, police over alleged assault by NAPTIP officers

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    A lawyer, Mr Promise Jones, has accused officers of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, Osun State Command, of assault.
    Jones, in a petition addressed to the Director, Department of State Services and the Osun State Police Command and dated November 26, 2018, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent on Sunday, said he was in the Osun State office of NAPTIP to assist his friends who had come from Akure, Ondo State, to secure the bail for a suspect.
    According to him, the suspect, Mr Steven Okei, had been granted bail, but he could not meet the conditions.
    Jones explained that when he met one Mr Abu, an operative of NAPTIP, and told him his mission, the officer informed him that only the commandant had the power to vary bail conditions.
    He stated, “Because of what he said, I decided to see the commandant, at least to pacify her to vary the bail conditions. But Abu refused all entreaties to allow me see the commandant. I asked for the procedure, but he refused.
    “At that juncture, I made a move to go and see the commandant in the most gentlemanly manner. Making way to the commandant’s office, Abu ran after me and started threatening me in the presence of two other lawyers from Akure.
    “While still on the spot, Abu, one Mr Ariyo and another NAPTIP official, whose name I do not know, descended on me, beat me up by landing me heavy fist blows at the back of my neck, they pushed me forcefully and threw me on the ground.”
    When contacted, the acting Public Relations Officer, NAPTIP, Osun State Command, Oluwafemi Akeju, dismissed the allegation, saying those mentioned by Jones never assaulted him.
    He said, “We have a procedure in our office. If you have any issue to discuss with us, you have to begin with the officer in charge of the matter. If he can’t resolve it, then you will proceed to the squad leader.
    “If the matter can’t still be resolved at that level, then the head of operations will be contacted. If he can’t handle it, then the state commandant will be contacted.
    “The lawyer just demanded to see the state commandant against our protocol and we never harassed him as claimed. We don’t do that here. We don’t carry arms; we don’t harass or intimidate people. We can’t even keep suspects.
    “When we want to release a suspect on bail, you will be given the bail bond containing all the conditions that must be met. The man didn’t say the whole truth. We are friendly to people.”