COVID-19 lockdown: Police deny beating man to death in Abuja
A viral video on Twitter seen by our reporter showed a man, presumably dead, lying at the back of a van belonging to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). In the said video, some persons could be heard asking that the man lying at the back of the van be taken to the hospital.
A police operative and several NSCDC officials were seen trying to calm the situation. The recorder of the video was heard saying “Police out of their recklessness just hit this man now and he died”, before the van zoomed off.
Reacting to the viral video, the spokesman of the Police in the FCT, DSP Anjururi Manzah, in a statement said the police had nothing to do with the incident.
He said, “The attention of the FCT Police Command has been drawn to a misleading information and video trending in some sections of the social media, on the alleged death of a man who was maltreated by police operatives, while enforcing the ban on the restriction of movement to contain the spread of COVID-19.
“Contrary to the misleading information in circulation, the incident in question is not in any way linked to the action of police personnel.
“Rather, it is a pathetic case of a man who slumped around Bannex junction and was assisted by some operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, as it can be clearly seen in the video.”
He added that prior to the commencement of the lockdown exercise, “the Command has properly briefed its personnel to be professional and civil in the enforcement of the directive. “So far, the police personnel deployed for this task have displayed high level of professionalism that requires the commendation and support of FCT residents.”
“While reaffirming the Command’s commitment to provide maximum security for FCT residents and ensure strict enforcement of the restriction of movement, to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Command wishes to advise members of the public to disregard the misleading information”, he added.
When later contacted by our reporter on the status of the man, DSP Manzah, said he could not confirm whether the man survived the incident or not.
A total lockdown of the Federal Capital Territory, ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, kicked off at 11pm on Monday to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.