- Police and soldiers have clashed in Umuahia
- The police in Umuahia town arrested an army captain
- Attempts to force the captain into the cell was met with heavy resistance
- Soldiers stormed the Railway police station in Umuahia and battered policemen
Nigerian soldiers have clashed with police in Umuahia after an army captain was arrested.
Sources reveal that trouble started when a man parked his 14-seater bus near the police station located opposite the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) press centre, Aba road.
The bus driver who happened to be an army captain clad in mufti, was ordered by the divisional police officer in charge of the station to re-park his vehicle.
Witnesses said that the DPO who wanted to drive into the station in his Highlander SUV, spotted the bus and impatiently ordered him to explain why he should block his way.
Attempts by the captain to pacify the DPO fell on deaf ears as he immediately ordered the bus driver's arrest for allegedly blocking his way.
This Day reports that the army officer pleaded with the DPO to allow him to remove his vehicle as he had been ordered but the DPO rather insisted that he must be arrested first.
“It was at that point when two policemen were struggling to arrest him that he told them that he is a Captain in the army,” said a source.
The source further revealed that the DPO was more infuriated when he heard that the bus driver said he was a soldier, and insisted he must be arrested.
“He must obey my arrest order; you people should tell him to obey my arrest order; you must obey my arrest. You said you are a captain; you must tell me how many wars you have fought.
“I have fought in three Boko Haram states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states before coming here.
“You must show me your identity today; drag him into the cell now,” the DPO thundered.
Attempts by the police to force the army captain into their cell was vehemently opposed but the police tore his clothes as they were trying to drag him into their cell.
The atmosphere was charged as the heated arguments drew the attention of passers-by and people in the neighbourhood who pleaded with the police to release the army officer but all to no avail.
Witnesses say one policeman shot into the air apparently to disperse the crowd when somebody in the crowd reportedly alerted the military of the development.
Four Hilux vans filled with solders stormed the scene shortly afterwards, and on discovering that one of their own had been manhandled by the police, they descended on the policemen including the DPO.
Sources say they beat the policemen black-and-blue. The only policeman left in the station had resisted every effort by some of the soldiers to disarm him. Even when he was beaten up, he still held on to his firearm.
The army reportedly made away with the policemen before three police patrol vans from the Central Police Station (CPS), Umuahia, arrived at the scene.