Policemen saddled with the responsibility of impounding banned motorcycles in Calabar, Cross River State capital, on Friday embarked on free for all in front of the Governor’s office.
DAILY POST reports that the men fought over who should take custody of some motorcycles impounded and brought to the former office of Emergency Response Center (ERC), located directly opposite the governor’s office.
Two vehicles loaded with the impounded motorcycles arrived the ERC and stopped opposite the first gate of the governor’s office and after a lot of argument among the policemen, some of whom were hooded; they eventually drove into the ERC premises where the argument developed into a fisticuffs.
Though, no dead was recorded, some however sustained injuries.
It would be recalled that since former governor, Liyel Imoke stopped operations of motorcycle within Calabar metropolis, policemen from different stations have been going after the operators, pursuing them even to remote areas where motorcycle operation is not even banned.
According to a Policeman who was watching over the armoured vehicle permanently placed at the entrance of the governor’s gate and pleaded for anonymity said, “trouble started when a Policeman demanded for the removal of one of motorcycles, claiming that it belongs to one of his relations.”
“He attempted to remove the bike outside the ERC gate but the driver sped off into the premises and he went in only for others to start dragging him. When they started dragging him, some of his friends who are also Policemen joined in the fight and that is why the thing has escalated.”
He continued, “They have called the State Security Adviser and he has not come. My fear is that they should not start shooting because if they do that, it will attract the attention of the governor who is still in the office at the time of the incident”
As the fight was going on, however, the governor’s outrider sounded the siren, a traditional indication that the governor was prepared to leave the office, which made all the contenders to disperse.
An eyewiteness, Chief Effiong Okon Bassey said; “They knew what they were fighting for because anytime they arrest these cyclists, they will find a way of locating the owner and he will come and pay money before they release it. They are disgracing themselves because of the money they hope to get from owners of those bikes.”
When contacted on phone, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ms Irene Ugbo, said she was not aware but promised to investigate the matter with a view to bringing the affected policemen to face the music.
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