Officials of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps have left a pastor humiliated after beating him up for allegedly videoing their operation.
The men of the LAGESC, which was formerly known as Kick Against Indiscipline, also reportedly smashed the pastor’s mobile phone.
It was learnt that the officials were on a raid in the Pen Cinema area of the state last Thursday to arrest roadside traders.
While the operation was ongoing, it was gathered that the officials accused the 43-year-old pastor, Israel Adekunle, of videoing them and descended on him.
But Adekunle denied the allegation, saying the men misinterpreted a call he was receiving for videoing.
He said, “I was walking along Pen Cinema around 3pm that day. Accidentally, I ran into a friend I lost contact with 20 years ago. As we were exchanging pleasantries, I received a call from a senior pastor.
“I had finished receiving the call and was returning my phone back to my pocket when a large number of KAI officials suddenly accosted me. They said I was videoing them, and I rebuffed the allegation, telling them the actual thing I was doing at the point they accosted me.
“My explanation was turned down. The next thing, they decided to forcefully seize the phone from me. At this point, I gave some resistance, but they overpowered me through punching and they destroyed my Tecno W3 phone.”
The father of two children explained that his friend’s entreaties fell on deaf ears, saying the team also beat up his friend for pleading on his behalf.
He said he was subsequently dragged into one of the three operational vans brought to the area by the officials and taken to their office in Oshodi.
“Two of the officials, who had previously beaten me, came into the van. One of them, called Agba, punched me in the mouth and I started bleeding.
“My Android phone is written off and it is still with them. As if that was not enough, they lied that I destroyed their boss’ phone and demanded that I should repair it before they would release my phone,” he said.
The pastor lamented the conduct of the officials and urged relevant authorities to serve justice on them.
“My fundamental human right has been infringed upon by government officials who are saddled with the responsibility of promoting orderliness through civil and humane execution of their duties within the society.
“They have suddenly become an instrument of terror to the same people who constitutionally are expected to be protected by their organisation,” he added.
The spokesperson for the corps, Mrs. Rahmat Alabi, said the corps had commenced investigations into the incident, adding that the officials involved would face appropriate disciplinary action.
She said, “We will identify all the officials involved in the act. The pastor has been invited. We will let you know the disciplinary action taken against them to serve as a deterrent to others.
LASIEC frowns on any form of harassment.”