Woman Tells Abia Panel How She Lost Her Pregnancy To Police Brutality
At the second sitting of the Abia State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality and other Related Matters, Dr. Aṅụrịka Kalunta of Aguiyi Ironsi Layout, Umuahia, narrated how at dawn on Monday, 5th of October, 2020, her gatekeeper suddenly ran up to her in the kitchen where she was cooking in preparation for the burial of her late father which was taking place on the same day and told her that armed policemen had forcefully gained access into her building.
According to her, they were about 10 police officers who invaded her home and requested to see her husband who was away, and when she told them he was not available, they told her she was going along with them for questioning. She said she requested to know why they were looking for her husband but they decline any further information and instead insisted she followed them.
On their insistence, she asked to be allowed to go in and change, but one of the officers insisted on going into her bedroom with her, a move she and her sister resisted. At the end, she was driven to the CPS in Umuahia where she said she requested to see the warrant of her arrest which the police did not provide but told her that someone had written a petition against her husband.
Continuing, she said she was forced to make a statement after which they ordered her to proceed to a cell, and when she asked for what offence she was being asked to be locked up, they forcefully pushed her into the cell. She said it was at that point that she told them she was pregnant.
After two hours in the cell, they brought a Toyota Sienna vehicle belonging to the Abia Line Transport Limited and asked her to get in. When she further requested to know where she was being taken to, they told her that she was being taken to Lagos.
According to her, when they arrived Lagos, they took her to Alagbon Police Station on Lagos Island where she noticed she was bleeding and reported to the officers who provided her with sanitary pads.
Hours later, the petitioner who happened to be her husband’s half brother arrived at the station and told the police that he paid them huge amounts of money to bring the man to Lagos either dead or alive and not his wife. He however, maintained that the police should hold the woman with them until her husband was arrested.
Days after being driven to Lagos, the police requested a bail sum of two hundred and fifty thousand naira (₦250,000) which her husband transferred to the older sister in Lagos and was withdrawn via POS and taken to the police in cash.
She was still bleeding after her release, and thus visited a hospital where she was advised to run another pregnancy test; she did and it was confirmed positive but faint. The doctor, according to her, asked her to run a scan to confirm if the pregnancy was still intact. But to confirm her fears, the scan returned negative —she’d lost her baby.
She told the court bring the police to justice and cause them to pay her a compensation to the tune of twenty million naira.
The police on their part, argued that the police command in the state was not responsible for her arrest.