There was confusion in the Zuba area of the Federal Capital Territory on Thursday after an angry mob set a police post and four patrol vehicles ablaze over alleged police brutality.
The mob, consisting mainly of motorcyclists and hoodlums numbering over 200, burnt tyres on the Madalla-Zuba end of the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway.
The rampaging mob also threw stones and pebbles at police personnel in sight.
Their action disrupted human and vehicular movement on the expressway from around 8am to 10am when police reinforcements arrived and brought the situation under control.
It was learnt that the trouble started around 8am when a motorcyclist identified as Salisu Hamidu was knocked down by policemen on a stop and search duty.
An eyewitness said the motorcyclist sustained injuries on the head.
Other eyewitnesses, who corroborated this account, alleged that the policemen involved tried to seize the victim’s motorcycle in order to extort money and the development led to a protest by other motorcyclists, who witnessed the accident.
One of the protesters, simply identified as Hassan, said, “The policemen have been disturbing the peace of okada riders on this road for long. They also collect money from us and the taxi drivers.
“We are (like) their Automated Teller Machines. This cannot continue. They may kill some of us but this will not continue.”
The FCT Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Anjuguri Manzah, confirmed the incident, adding that the command would carry out “discreet investigation that will lead to the identification, arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of the act.”
He added, “The FCT Police Command sternly condemns the unfortunate activities of some hoodlums in the early hours of Thursday that resulted in the obstruction of vehicular movement, vandalism and burning down of observation posts belonging to the police and the Federal Road Safety Corps at Zuba.
“The miscreants attacked police personnel on their legitimate duties and set observation posts belonging to the police and the FRSC on fire as a result of which four vehicles parked within the premises were also burnt.
“The Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, in company with some senior police officers, visited the scene to assess the situation and ensure normalcy was restored to the area.
“He has ordered a discreet investigation that will lead to the identification, arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of the heinous act in order to serve as a deterrent to others.
“The road has since been opened for vehicular movement and members of the public are enjoined to go about their legitimate activities as calm has been restored to the vicinity.”