A pregnant pepper seller, identified as Iyabo Taiwo, on Hassan Ogunlana Street, Ijaiye, Lagos State, has been traumatized after she was reportedly thrown into a police cell for reporting an assault on her.
She had lodged a complaint at the Meiran Police Station against a resident, identified simply as Simon, aka Best, who allegedly pushed her into a drainage channel.
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PUNCH Metro learnt that the case was, however, turned against her because Simon was a relative of a senior officer at the station.
It was learnt that Simon had bought some red peppers from the woman last Monday and was supposed to collect N50 change.
It was gathered that Taiye went to visit her ailing husband at a hospital the following day and did not open shop.
The woman said hardly had she arrived at the shop on Wednesday with fresh stock when Simon came to collect the change.
She stated that she told him to come back for the change, but he suddenly resorted to force and started taking her goods.
The 30-year-old woman who spoke in Yoruba said:
“I explained to him that I had used all the money on me to buy peppers and begged him to give me little time to sell so that I will give him the change.
“But he dipped his hands into a basket to pack some peppers. So, I held his shirt. He freed himself from my grip and threw me into a gutter. I went to report at the Meiran Police Station and some policemen followed me to arrest him.
“On getting to the station, he spoke in English and Igbo with a police officer. Then, a policeman told me that some people beat him (Simon) and that I would be detained until they arrest those people. Simon was told to go.”
The woman said she spent over 24 hours in detention and was freed after members of a pepper sellers association she belonged to paid N4,500 to secure her bail.
“I was locked up inside a cell. They didn’t give me food. I was feeling pains all over my body. Members of my association later contributed N4,500 before I was released in the evening of the following day (Thursday).
“My pregnancy is over seven months now. I have gone to do a scan at a hospital to know the condition of my baby. The result will be out on Monday (today).
“The Commissioner of Police invited me and some policemen to his office in Ikeja on Friday. He was angry with them and told them to refund the N4,500. They asked me to come for the money on Monday (today).”
A resident, who begged for anonymity, said shortly after Taiye was released on Thursday, Simon allegedly mobilized some thugs to beat two men, Ope and Muri Waheed, who cautioned him for assaulting the woman.