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Lawyer brutalized by Lagos Assembly CSO and others over council election suit

The court then rescheduled the hearing for July 19th.
Eleto said he arrived at the Assembly around 11 a.m. on Friday to deliver a letter informing lawmakers of the development.
A paramilitary officer at the gate promised to contact the official who would receive the letter, he said.
After about two hours of waiting, the activist became anxious and complained.
“Suddenly, I saw a tall dark young man approaching the gate from the Assembly complex. I noticed the police officers on duty adjusted themselves and they became jittery of him.
“The said young man approached me and said, ‘They said you have been disturbing the security for the past two hours, what is your problem?’
“I replied that ‘I have a letter to submit concerning a court case that would come up on Monday, July 19, at the Federal High Court, Lagos State, and the House of Assembly is a party and its important for me to put them on notice.’
“He replied further saying, ‘Mr Man, we are not taking this letter; we have the discretion to determine what or which letter to take.’ I told him could such discretion work when it comes to a public office.
“He replied that I was rude to him and ordered the police officers on duty to throw me out of the complex. The officers asked me to leave under the young man’s directive.
“Suddenly, I noticed the CSO returned with eight mobile policemen. The CSO said it point-blank that I came to the Assembly with a destructive mission and that he had instruction to deal with me.
“He, therefore, asked them to seize my phones, forcefully collected my pens, dragged my shirt, pulled me in the company of the mobile policemen and carried me like a five-year-old boy to the Assembly gate into a waiting police van, with plate no RRS 387 LA.
“They eventually dragged me on the floor, tear-gassed me, poured pepper spray on my face, brutalised me, dehumanised me and forcefully made me enter the car and whisked me in a commando manner to the Alausa Police Station, where I was kept behind the counter till, I became unconscious,” he added.

Eleto stated that when he returned, he requested to call his colleagues, and that his phone was returned to him by a policewoman.
According to the victim, he contacted four lawyers and requested that the case be escalated to two more senior lawyers.
“Immediately they heard the names I called, they asked me to stand up. I didn’t respond, as I had no strength left. They ransacked me once again, gave me dirty slaps, used metals on my joints and used their guns to hit me on my thighs, while saying that I was proving stubborn.
“I became seriously weak and they carried me once again into their van and took me to an unknown destination. They later drove me around Ikeja and back to the House of Assembly, where I was locked in the car for several hours.
“The policemen came back later in the night, returned all my belongings, and said ‘Oga has asked you to go.’ I left the Assembly and went home with stains and pains all over my body,” he added.
While calling for justice, a victim’s colleague, Saheed Sani, said the Alausa Police Station confirmed Eleto was brought to the station.

Setonji David, the Chairman of the House Committee on Information and Strategy, promised to look into the incident.
He insisted that the lawyer’s beating was unjustified, adding that different groups regularly protested at the Assembly without incident. He said, “The Lagos Assembly is the people’s parliament. When you bring any correspondence to the House, if it is for the clerk, you drop it in the clerk’s office and it will be acknowledged.
“I think in this instance, the man insisted on seeing the clerk. Must he see the clerk? Must he see the speaker? They are all busy people. They have offices and you can always go there to drop your correspondence. I have not heard of anyone dropping a letter and being molested. It is not possible because the workers are under instruction.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said he was not aware of the incident.

By Olutayo Olusanya

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