Businessman Larry Otu, the Chief Executive Officer of Lym Consult Nigeria Limited, yesterday got the beating of his life when some overzealous Air Force personnel providing security for the First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, during her campaign visit to Delta State descended on him.
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, and SaharaReporters reliably learned that Otu was at the airport to receive some business partners traveling in from Canada when he was seized upon by the officials.
Eyewitnesses told our reporter that the Air Force personnel, from the 61 NAF Detachment under the command of Air Commodore A. D. Dudusola, were brutal in their duty as they harassed and assaulted several persons, whom they prevented from entering the airport.
They said Otu was mercilessly beaten up by the Air Force personnel. Not only did he receive an enormous wound in the process, Out said the sum of N200,000 was also stolen from him.
Speaking to reporters at the airport shortly after his ordeal, Mr. Otu lamented the assault and brutality meted on him.
“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.”
He said he was questioned as to whether he knew the President's wife 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 he complied and took his car back to the main road and was walking back [to the airport] when a team of the Air Force men, numbering about eight, manhandled 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.”
He called on all relevant authorities to ensure justice by bringing his assailants to book, saying he knew the man who started it all and the one who took the money from his pocket.
“We can't continue to live in this kind of country,” he lamented. “Justice must be done.”
Contacted over the incident, Air Commodore, Dudusola defended his men by alleging that Mr. Otu was rude to the officers.
Mrs. Jonathan was originally billed to host her campaign for the re-election of her husband at Oleh, headquarters of Isoko South local government area before the venue of the event was diverted overnight to Orerokpe in Okpe local government area.