Nigerians have condemned the chaining of an Edo State driver to a patrol truck along Sopkonba Road Junction, Benin, the Edo State capital.

A resident, Augustine Ogbomwan, who was filming the torture of the unidentified driver was also said to have been detained by the police.

It was learnt that some cops attached to the Esigie Police Division had stopped the driver’s vehicle on Sunday.

The policemen allegedly asked the driver to alight from the vehicle and searched him.

A businessman, Franklyn Irabor, who lived close to the scene of the incident, said when the cops did not find anything on the driver, they searched the passenger in the vehicle, but did not also find anything incriminating.

He said, “One of the policemen bent down and picked something from the ground.  He then challenged the passenger over the item, which they said was hemp.

“Suddenly, the passengers fled and they arrested the driver. They hit him with their batons and guns before handcuffing him to their patrol truck. They drove away as the man initially struggled to catch up before falling, while the police van dragged him on the road.

“The driver started calling for help. We could not bear the man’s pain and we decided to intervene. The policemen challenged us for interrupting police business.

“My elder brother, Courage, who was with me, told them that there was no justification for their action; but they asked him to shut up. One of the officers cocked his gun and threatened to shoot us.

“We thought it was a joke, until they started firing into the air. One of them pushed my brothers away and another one came and handcuffed me.

They hit me in the back with the butt of their guns. I sustained bruises. They slapped my brother who tried to stop them from arresting me. They also handcuffed him with me.”

Franklyn said at that point, a crowd formed around the policemen to stop them from leaving with the three of them, adding that the team called for a backup.

He said the new set of policemen, on arriving at the scene, however, chided the team on the ground for their action.

“The policemen that arrested me and my brothers were in mufti, while the new policemen were in uniforms. The ones in uniforms told the other team that it was wrong for them to handcuff and drag the driver on the road.

“Because of the disagreement between the two teams, the ones in mufti left. One of the other policemen apologised to us for our injuries and said he would find the key of the handcuffs. After about 45 minutes, they came and unlocked our handcuffs,” he added.

As of 6pm on Wednesday, a video of the incident posted on Facebook around 12pm on Tuesday, had been shared by over 3,608 persons.

The video, which was already trending on different social media platforms, angered the Edo State Police Command.

A resident, who had captured the incident on his phone, Ogbomwan, was said to have been detained after the video went viral.