Two cadets of the Nigerian Air Force on Wednesday were arrested by the convoy of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in the Mile 12 area of Lagos while dehumanizing an artisan, Dahiru Lawal, for allegedly breaking the windscreen of their car.
The artisan was forced into the trunk of the car of the Air Force cadets, identified as Peters O. Solomon and Abdullahi Fahad, who claimed to be attached to the Air Force base, Ikeja, after dragging him on the ground for allegedly breaking their windscreen.
According to a statement by Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Habib Aruna, Mr. Ambode was returning from an inspection visit to Agbowa in Ikorodu when he saw the dehumanizing condition the Air Force cadets subjected Lawal to, and swiftly moved to intervene.
Governor Ambode, the statement said, wondered how a fellow citizen could be subjected to such inhuman treatment over a slight offence.
When questioned by journalists, the cadets admitted putting Lawal in the boot of their car, claiming he had initially escaped into the nearby market after breaking their windscreen but they chased and eventually caught him.
“What happened is that the boy broke the windscreen in front of my car. When I stopped, I asked him to come, the boy ran away. We have to drag him back and put him in the boot.
“I kind of threatened his boss that he is working with and when his boss came and looked at what he did to me, that was when I put him inside the boot for the remaining ones to go and call the boss. Not that I locked the boot, I only put him inside the boot, but I did not lock the boot”, Cadet Solomon said.
Narrating a similar story, Fahad said they were on the Mile 12 road in their car after visiting a friend, when they heard something hit their windscreen and saw Lawal attempting to escape.
“We now run (sic) inside the market and dragged him (Lawal) down. I was even asking who he is working with because I want to see his Oga since I know he cannot repair my damaged windscreen. I want to see the man he is working with so that we can settle everything with him. I now told my colleague that we should hand him over to Air Force police at the Air Force Base”, Cadet Fahad said.
Confessing to breaking their windscreen, Lawal, who hails from Kaduna State, said it was an accident, when asked why he fled the scene, the artisan said it was for fear of what the Cadets might do to him if he stayed back.
“I ran into the market and they pursued me and caught me inside the market. They started beating me and dragged me to their car”, he said.
“I ran because I was afraid of what the cadets might do to me, while my boss and people around begged on my behalf, but their pleas fell on deaf ears.
“The police also came to plead with them to open the boot but they insisted on taking me away and it was at that point that the convoy of the Governor arrived to rescue me from the boot of the car where they kept me”, Lawal said.
The artisan claimed that he lost his cell phone and sum of N5, 000 that was on him when the Air Force cadets dragged him on the floor.
Meanwhile, Governor Ambode ordered that the Cadets be handed over to the police for further investigation and possible prosecution.