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Oyo demolition squad brutalises Tribune reporter •Victim on admission in UCH for fractured neck

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AN Assistant Editor with the Nigerian Tribune, Mr Laolu Harolds, was, on Tuesday, beaten blue and black by some  military men attached to the Oyo State government demolition task force team in Ibadan.

Harolds was reportedly going to work and saw the state task force team demolishing some shops around Alegongo area of Akobo, and tried to take some photographs of the exercise, when the incident happened.

Nigerian Tribune gathered that  two of the soldiers in the team spotted him opposite the venue of the demolition and pounced on him, administering countless strokes of whip on his head with joyous abandon.

Harolds, in a statement said, “as I was coming out of the street, I heard the siren of military escort attached to the task force blaring their siren and the soldiers jumped down from their various vehicles and started destroying the shops.

“I was not too close to them. I just stood opposite where the demolition was being done and was trying to take some shots of the exercise, when two of the soldiers spotted me and ran towards me.

“They slapped me severally, dragged me by the collar of my shirt and dragged me into one of their vans. They asked me to lie on the floor and one of them went for a three-prong whip with which they beat me.

“As if that was not enough, they dragged me out of the van and asked me to roll on the floor, while one of them kept beating me, the other was slapping me. At that time, they had impounded my digital camera.

“I sustained bruises, especially on my head. I don’t know why they were interested in beating me on the head. If I had not been defending my head, my face would have completely been distorted. Even up till the time they dragged me and instructed that I roll on the ground, they were still beating me.”

When let off the hook, he said he was told to run away “like a mad man.”

Harolds is currently on admission at the University College Hospital (UCH) where he is being treated for a fracture on the neck.

The medical experts, who attended to him said that the fracture is a rare one and he was lucky to be alive.

In his reaction, the Special Adviser, Media to the governor, Dr Festus Adedayo said that “from what we gathered, the security men thought he was a hoodlum hired by the displaced shop owners.”

In company of the Special Assistant (Print Media), Mr Wale Sadiq, he said he paid a visit to Mr Harrolds at the UCH yesterday evening.

According to him, “government will investigate the matter and may be responsible for his medical bills.”

Last modified on Wednesday, 09 January 2013 10:44
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