Friday, 27 February 2015

Overzealous Air Force Personnel Deployed to Guard Dame Jonathan Beat up Businessman at Osubi Airport

…He was rude – Air Force
Some overzealous Air Force personnel deployed to guard President Goodluck Jonathan’s wife, Dame Patience, during her visit to Orerokpe, Okpe Council area of Delta State on Thursday threw caution to the wind as they brutalised an innocent businessman who was at the airport to receive his business partner.
The businessman also alleged that one of the Air Force men forcibly took away his N200,000 before he was let off their hook.

The victim simply identified as Mr. Larry Otu, the Chief Executive Officer of Lym Consult Nigeria Limited, was at the Osubi airstrip to receive his business partner from Canada but got the beating of his life “as the overzealous Air Force personnel who were frisking other airport users asked him to reverse his car and drive back.

But when he decided to walk back into the airport after parking his car outside, they pounced on him, sources said.

The security operatives comprising of the Navy, Army, Air Force, Police and Civil Defence were deployed to beef up security at the airport before the arrival of Dame Jonathan who was bid to visit Orerokpe, headquarters of Okpe Local Government Area in continuation of her campaign but the President’s wife was yet to arrive the airport when the overzealous Air Force officials reportedly pounced on the victim.

Eyewitnesses at the airport told newsmen at the scene that the Air Force personnel attached to 61 NAF Detachment and headed by Air Commodore A. D. Dudusola, were not civil in their duty as they harassed and assaulted several persons who were also disallowed entry into the airport but Otu’s case was worse as he was badly brutalised.

The victim, who spoke to newsmen at the scene, said he was at the airport to receive his technical partners from Canada when the men of Warri unit of Air Force stationed at the airstrip descended on him.

According to him, “It happened at about 9am when our foreign partners arrived the airport and I was there at the dot of time to clear them at the immigration desk. I drove to the gates to face interrogation from the Air Force men.

“One asked if I knew the President’s wife was coming today. I said yes, but I have come to pick my foreign partners. He asked what I do for a living, I said I own the company being visited by our technical partners and he said as small as you are?”

Continuing, Otu alleged that the Air Force men then asked him to give them some money before they would allow him to pass but he refused and they ordered him to reverse his car and leave the vicinity.

“He said okay, find me something. I said I could not give you anything. So he ordered me to reverse my car and leave. He said I could not drive in. So, I reversed my car, drove back to the main road and was trekking down to go in when a team of the force men, numbering about eight pounced on me,” he added.

Otu said his attackers dragged him from the road to a point behind their caravan office at the airport and continued the beating, kicking, punching and hitting him with their guns, adding that it took the intervention of his manager who approached one of the officers before he was let go.

“It turned out my manager knew one of the Air Force Officers at the airport. He ran in to tell him that it was his company’s chairman his men were manhandling.

“That was when the officer came and ordered them to stop and let me go, but before I was left with a battered, bloodied face , my N200, 000 was picked from my pocket by one of them,” Otu alleged.

The victim called on the “relevant authorities to ensure justice by bringing the men to book, saying: “I know the man who started it all and I know the one who took N200, 000 from my pocket. We can’t continue to live in this kind of country. Justice must be done.”

Meanwhile, the commanding officer of 16 NAF Detechment of the Nigerian Airforce, Commodore, A D Dudusola, whose men allegedly brutalised the businessman has reacted to the allegation, saying the young man was rude to the officers.
Dudusola said : “I was not present when it happened, but they said he was rude. Why must it be only him? That is the question that comes to mind. Others came to the airport, they identified themselves properly and were allowed in.

“Nobody was touched, so he must have been rude. My brother, it is better to face other challenges than to face the worry that somebody came to the airport and blast himself, because it is not always written in somebody’s face.

“That is the truth. We can apologise to him later but we had to do our job first so that somebody will not create problem for us. But when I came and was briefed what has happened, I asked where the person is, and they said he has gone in.”


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