08:50 Feb 23 2016 Abia, Nigeria

There was commotion on Monday afternoon in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, when police officers attached to the railway police manhandled a yet-to-be identified army captain for allegedly packing his 18-sitter Mitsubishi bus close to the station fence.

An eyewitness, who preferred anonymity, said the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) attached to the station was driving into the station in his white Toyota Higherlander car, when he spotted the bus and ordered the owner to repack the bus alleging that it was blocking his way.

He said when the driver of the bus came out dressed in ash colour native attire, he greeted the DPO and quickly wanted to repack his bus, but the police officer ordered him to come closer and explain why he should block his way to the station.

He said: “the man continued to plead with the police officer who was viciously angry, but he refused to allow him to repack, but rather ordered his men to arrest the man, then the man told him he was a captain in the Nigerian army, but he insisted that he must obey his orders first.”

When the Nigerian Tribune visited the police station, residents who owned business around the police station were seen pleading on behalf of the soldier, but the DPO would not listen, rather he was shouting on top of his voice, saying “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, Bornu, Adamawa and Yobe before coming here, you must show me your identity today; drag him into the cell now.” The situation created panic around the railway area as shop owners closed the shop to avoid being hit by stray bullet, as the police officers were shooting into the air.

But the drama became messier when four soldiers arrived at the police station in about 20 minutes and discovered the man who was beaten by the police was actually an army captain; one of them was heard saying, “I thought he was even a junior officer,”as he ordered another police man to call the DPO.

In less than 15 minutes, four Hilux vans, fully loaded with soldiers, landed at the police station expressing anger at what happened to their boss. They later took the DPO away and another police officer with them to their base.
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