Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy, has accused the police of brutalising some participants of the protest organised by a coalition of civil society organisations under the aegis of 'Concerned Nigerians'. He told The Punch that a policeman hit him in his eye with the butt of his gun. He also alleged that a television journalist was beaten and his camera smashed. He said the police had aimed at outnumbering and overpowering them as they were merely 10 protesters who had gathered but were met by over 200 policemen.
“We were not even up to 10 people that set out for the Unity Fountain. When we got there, we met close to 200 policemen. Initially they tried to stop us from going further. But we explained to them that ours would be a peaceful demonstration. I gave them the assurance that we were not going to anywhere else and the protest would not be hijacked by hoodlums.
“Before we knew it, they started with the water cannon. Then they tear-gassed us and set their dogs against us. Worried, I went to one of the policemen who was standing near me and asked him why they resorted to such action. Instead of responding to me, he suddenly raised the butt of his gun and hit me in the eye.
“I saw them beating up that man [the journalist] and smashing his camera. I hope they have not killed him,” he said.
Reports had earlier said that Charly Boy had collapsed due to the tear gas fired by riot policemen on Tuesday.