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PRISON WARDERS ASSAULT TWO NEWSPAPER VENDORS OVER FREE PAPERS

BY AKPABIO ANIEMA

Some prison officials in Ibadan yesterday went wild as they invaded the Forestry Research Institute premises armed with guns in pursuit of a newspaper vendor, Mr Adewale Morenike, who ran into the premises for cover. The poor vendor was beaten to a pulp when he was eventually caught. The vendors, whose names are Adewale Morenike and Kola Ola, were said to be at Forestry Junction, some distance to the entrance of the house of the controller of prisons when the warders led by the driver of the controller pounced on them.

They were thoroughly beaten up after which they were taken to the police headquarters at Eleyele, Ibadan, with the allegation that they were planning to attack the controller. It was learnt that the vendors had been under intense pressure from the guards at the residence of the controller at Idi-Ishin to be giving them free newspapers to read which the vendors rejected. It was due to the rejection of their request which infuriated the driver that he ordered them to leave the environment when he saw them at Idi-Ishin junction which is clearly some distance away from the residence of the prison controller. However, Mr Morenike, demanded to know from the driver if they were causing nuisance to him.

The challenge from Morenike didn’t go down well with the driver as he angrily jumped out of the vehicle and stated beating up Morenike, said Kola Ola. Obviously not satisfied with the assault which took place on Wednesday, the prison officials waited patiently at the Forestry junction for the two vendors the following day and when they saw them pounced on them and beat them to a pulp after which Morenike was driven to the police headquarters in Eleyele. On the other hand, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Olabisi Clet-Ilobanafor, has denied her knowledge of any newspaper vendor being detained in their station even despite the fact that the Chairman of the Newspaper Distribution Association of Nigeria, Babatunde Abimbola and his men saw Morenike in one of the dark rooms in the station with swollen eyes and legs. The Correspondent’s Chapel at Mokola was yesterday stormed by the newspaper agents to plead and to protest for the inhuman treatment meted out to their colleagues.

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