Anambra officials brutalise man in viral video

A group of people said to be members of the Anambra State Anti-Touts Squad have allegedly beaten a yet-to-be-identified middle-aged man to a coma over an unknown offence.

A video making the rounds on social media on Tuesday showed the men, suspected to be anti-touting officials hitting the man with a short pestle while questioning him over a yet-to-be-known matter.

The video showed one of the Anti-Touts operatives in mufti hitting the victim with a short pestle on his legs and ankles as he struggled for survival.

The operative repeatedly hit his victim with the pestle while his colleagues were making the video, as the victim was rolling on the ground, helplessly crying and begging them to allow him to explain.

In the video, while the man being beaten tried to explain to them that his wife was pregnant and that he didn’t want to die without seeing his child, the anti-tout operatives told him that they wanted him dead, adding that they had not come there to joke with him.

The operatives were also overheard querying him about a fee allegedly collected by the victim’s brother at Niger Street, Onitsha, which they said was being remitted to him.

The video has continued to attract wide condemnations across the state and the general public wondered why Anti-tout operatives should subject someone to such inhumane treatment, instead of being handed over to the police for appropriate investigation and possible prosecution.

It was gathered that the incident happened in Onitsha, an Anambra State commercial city, and the victim, who has been rushed to the hospital, is said to be in critical condition.

When contacted on the development, on Tuesday, the state police command spokesman, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, said there was no report from any man who was said to have been allegedly assaulted by the Anambra State Special Anti-touting Squad.

Ikenga said, “I don’t have any information on it, I don’t know the man on the video, and there is no report like that before us.

“I also saw the video trending, but we are trying to reach out to the man in question, but I don’t have any information on it, it is a recent development.”

Also contacted for comments, the Public Relations Officer, Anambra Anti-Touts Squad, Nweke Nweke, said that he would issue an official statement in that regard in due course.

The PUNCH had reported that the Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, inaugurated the State Anti-Touts Squad in 2023 to tackle the increasing spate of touting in the state.