The Air Force personnel bid to provide security for the First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, during her campaign visit to Delta State on Thursday assaulted a Businessman Larry Otu, the Chief Executive Officer of Lym Consult Nigeria Limited.
Sahara Reporters said Otu, got the beating of his life when some overzealous Air Force personnel descended on him at the Osubi Airport.
The incident occurred when the businessman went to the airport to receive some business partners traveling in from Canada when he was seized upon by Air Force personnel, from the 61 NAF Detachment under the command of Air Commodore A. D. Dudusola.
It was gathered that a bevy of Navy, Army, Air Force, Police and Civil Defence officers was deployed to beef up security at the Osubi Airport for the arrival of Mrs. Patience Jonathan.
Eyewitnesses said the Air Force personnel were brutal in their duty as they harassed and assaulted several persons, whom they prevented from entering the airport.
Out, who said he was mercilessly beaten up by the Air Force personnel whom left him with an enormous wound in the process, also revealed that the Air Force officials stole the sum of N200, 000 from him.
Speaking to newsmen immediately after the ugly experience, Otu while lamenting the brutality meted on him said: “I was so dehumanized, brutalized, treated like a common criminal at the Osubi Airport by these overzealous Air Force men,” he said. “The whole incident occurred at about 9am when our foreign partners arrived the airport and I was there at the dot of time to clear them at the immigration desk. I drove to the gates to face interrogation from the Air Force men.”
According to the victim, he was asked if he was aware that the first lady was coming in that day.
“I said yes, but I have come to pick my foreign partners. He asked what I do for a living, I said I own the company being visited by our technical partners and he said, ‘As small as you are?’ The Air Force men asked me to give them some money before they would allow me to pass but I refused and they ordered me to reverse my car and leave the vicinity,” he said.
The assaulted businessman said he obeyed and took his car back to the main road and was walking back [to the airport] when a team of the Air Force officials, about eight in number pounced on him and brutalized him.
“I was dragged from the road to a point behind their caravan office at the airport and continued the beating, kicking, punching and hitting me with their guns and it took intervention of my manager who approached one of the officers and was rescued and in the process the N200, 000 I was having on me was forced from my pocket by one of the Air Force personnel,” Otu said.
He, however, called on all relevant authorities to make sure justice is done by bringing his assailants to book, insisting that he can identify the man who started it all as well as the one that stole the money from his pocket.
“We can’t continue to live in this kind of country,” Otu lamented. “Justice must be done.”
When the Air Commodore, Dudusola was contacted over the incident, he defended his men by claiming that Mr. Otu was rude to the officers.
Meanwhile, the first lady was initially scheduled to hold campaign for the re-election bid of President Goodluck Jonathan at Oleh, headquarters of Isoko South local government area before the venue of the rally was changed overnight to Orerokpe in Okpe local government area.
Recall that Patience Jonathan, who has been very active in campaigning for her husband’s re-election on Wednesday, February 25, at the rally of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ikom, Cross River Central Senatorial District instructed Nigerians to cast their votes for her husband in the forthcoming presidential election.