‘I was brutalised for making U-turn in front of a retired Admiral’s house’

Published 9 years ago by: Aliuniyi lawal
at 25-10-2010 10:19AM (9 years ago)

(1374 | Gistmaniac) (m)

When Mr. Lawson Tekena, a graduate of microbiology, decided to make a U-turn in front of a building on Tombia Road, GRA, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, it did not occur to him that that singular act would land him in trouble.


He said what was uppermost in his mind was to avoid the traffic jam on the road so that he could get to his destination on time.


But the spot Tekena chose to make his U-turn was in front of the house of retired Admiral Festus Porbeni, a minister of transport under Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar’s regime.


Tekena told PUNCH METRO that some security men and naval ratings approached him and asked him why he wanted to park his car in front of their boss‘s house.


He said all his explanations to the naval ratings that his mission was just to make a U-turn in front of the house and not to park his car were rebuffed.


Tekena said before he could explain further, the naval ratings and the security men pounced on him. He added that one of them carried a big stone and hit one of his car‘s side mirrors.


Sensing danger, he said he attempted to manouvre his car so that he could leave the spot. But he said he was prevented by the naval ratings, who proceeded to give him the beating of his life.


He said as he was being beaten, one of the naval ratings dashed into their boss’ compound and brought out a gun.


Tekena said, “He (the naval rating) tried to drag me into the building, but I tried my best to resist him. Even when the crowd that gathered at the scene told them to leave me, they did not listen. The Naval men dragged me inside and began to punch me all over my body.


“The one who punched me while I was in the vehicle corked his gun and put it on my head apparently ready to shoot me.


”In the process, one of the bullets fell down and he went to hit me on the head with the butt of the gun. At that point, all my body was covered with blood, which was gushing from my head, precisely at the point where the rating hit me.


“In that state, the naval rating still asked me to lie on the ground. That was after he had removed the magazine of his gun and fixed it back. But I refused to lie down.”


He said after he was released, some officials of the Rivers State Government House took him to a hospital in an ambulance.


Tekena, who was wearing a cap to cover the deep cut on his head when he spoke to our correspondent, said, “When he (naval rating) carried his gun, I thought about my three daughters and my wife, who just gave birth and said if this man killed me here, what would become of my children? It would have been tragic because my new born baby wouldn‘t have known his father.”


He said he reported the incident to the police station, where the Divisional Crime Officer sent six of his men to investigate the matter.


He said when the policemen arrived at the scene, the naval ratings refused to listen to them, adding that at that point, the police decided to leave him to his fate.


Tekena explained that as they were about leaving, one of the naval ratings, whom he identified as Abubakar, appealed to him that the matter should be forgotten.


“This was the same man, who called me a ‘bloody civilian’ and asked me where I was when militants were everywhere in Port Harcourt,” he said.


But Abubakar, who appeared to be the most senior among the naval ratings guarding the house, told our correspondent on the phone that he was just a peace maker.


“I wasn‘t there. But when I came and saw them fighting, I asked them to stop and that was all,” he said.


Tekena, however, faulted Abubakar and wondered how he could have fought five men, two of whom were armed.


An eyewitness, who identified himself simply as Tony, said Tekena was treated like an animal on the fateful day, adding that if not for the crowd, the Microbiologist would have been shot by the naval ratings.


“They dragged him (Tekena) into the building and by the time they decided to bring him out, his shirt was already torn while his entire body was covered in his blood,” the eyewitness noted.


“The crowd that gathered at the scene knocked violently on the gate and pleaded that they released Tekena. Many people parked their cars outside to watch the show of shame. But by the time the naval ratings released my friend, they had already torn his shirt and hit him with the butt of the gun. His body was filled with blood”, Tekena‘s friend, who gave his name simply as Zukky, also said.


When contacted, the Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, Dr. Rita Inoma-Abbey, said she could not comment on the issue because she had not been briefed.


Efforts made to reach the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Navy in the state, Mr. N. Yeibo, were abortive as he did not pick his calls when our correspondent called his two lines. Also, he had not responded to text messages sent to his line as at the time the paper was going to bed.


Our correspondent could not also reach Porbeni, but his Personal Assistant who spoke on the telephone declined comments. She demanded to know our correspondent’s “interest”in the matter.


“What is your interest in the matter? Are you Tekena‘s brother? I don‘t know what your interest is, but whatever it is; I will call Abubakar and tell him what you have told me. I don‘t know why you want to publish it in the newspaper; I don‘t know what your report will do,” she said.


shaoyang at 25-10-2010 10:41AM (9 years ago)
(1970 | Gistmaniac) (m)

Guy ur post is always too long, u no dey see as other people take dey shorten their own?
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