THE Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nasarawa State command has debunked a report alleging that its patrol team brutalized Mr Ibrahim Ibrahim, a journalist with African Independent Television (AIT) and extorted motorists in Lafia at the weekend.
This was contained in a statement signed by Mr Martins Johnson, the state FRSC Sector Command Public Enlightenment Officer and made available to newsmen in Lafia on Monday.
According to the statement, the online report first published by Independent.ng on June 30 titled “FRSC Officers Assault AIT Reporter over extortion of Motorists in Nasarawa” was an unsubstantiated sensation and untrue effort aimed at tarnishing the image of the sector command.
“Ordinarily, we would not have responded to this callous, reckless, unsubstantiated, sensationalistic and baseless effort but for the damage, it would cause to the enviable reputation of the FRSC in the minds of innocent Nigerians if we keep quiet hence our decision to put the records straight.
“Firstly, the said extortion never took place and the said victim of the brutality was never brutalized at any point by men and officers of the FRSC, Nasarawa state command. He is alive, well and hearty and can attest to our defence.
“Rather, the said AIT journalist was stopped for taking unauthorised pictures of our men who were busy doing their duties near the main gate of the Nasarawa State Polytechnic, along Jos road, Lafia and questioned on why he took the pictures without due authorization,” The statement reiterated.
The statement further that FRSC then urged the AIT journalist to delete the pictures but he refused thereby creating a standoff between both parties and a traffic gridlock on the highway.
“The traffic hold up got the attention of many passersby and motorists including the convoy of the Emir of Lafia, Dr Isa Mustapha-Agwai passing by but had to stop for His Royal Highness who then listened to both parties and resolved the matter peacefully.
“Mr Ibrahim Ibrahim was at no time assaulted, brutalized or humiliated. Neither were his rights infringed upon by men and officers of the command in Nasarawa state,” Said the statement.
The statement also debunked the claim in the report alleging that the FRSC Sector Commander in the state, Mrs Faustina Alegbe called the Emir of Lafia, instructing him to mandate the AIT journalist to write an apology to the command.
“The Sector Commander did not at any point during the standoff by call or any means of communication give such instruction to the Royal father.
“It is a misinterpretation of facts to allege that the sector commander instructed the Emir to tell to offer a letter of apology when she never to the Emir on the matter. It is even unthinkable in African culture.
“We use this medium to urge well-meaning Nigerians to disregard the failed effort by the author who tried in vain to portray the patriotic and honest FRSC officers and men as corrupt people and thugs who brutalize fellow Nigerians,” the statement reaffirmed.
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