By Tata Mbunwe
Officers working with the Mbanga police station in the Litoral Region, this morning, brutalized a driver and passengers of a bus belonging to General travel agency that left Douala for Bafoussam.
A passenger who was among those victimised told MMI their phones were seized, and they were tortured and briefly detained for filming the fight between a police officer and the bus driver.
“After taking the first video of the fight…, I realized the driver himself was now on the floor and so I struggled to take a video of him laying down. That was when a different police, which I don’t even know, when he came, asked me to give my phone and I refused and he took it forcefully,” recounted a passenger whose identity we are withholding for his personal safety.
He furthered: “I was now brought to the station alongside others… This man tortured us under our legs using a cutlass. It’s at the station that I realized he had taken some other phones too. After torturing us, one other police came and started insulting me and calling me names when I responded he gave me serious slaps. the person who fought with the driver came and was calling us names, saying it’s because we are from Bamenda that’s why we behaved that way.”
How it all started
One of police officers who were on patrol along the Douala – Bafoussam highway had asked the driver of the General Express bus to present his car documents.
But when the driver delayed doing so, another officer deflated the car tires, angering the driver who then outrightly refused giving them the documents.
“Suddenly, a man from nowhere, I guess he was working for the police, brought some irons and placed it under the tire of our bus and the tires burst. This is when the General driver got angry, took the books leaving his bus in the middle of the road, went down his bus and told the police boy while holding the books saying ‘these are the books but I won’t show and give them to you’,” the passenger told MMI.
Face with the driver’s challenge, one of the officers picked up a fight with the driver and other officers joined the scuffle.
The driver was later taken to the station while passengers sat stranded in the vehicle for some time.
Passengers who were arrested for filming the incident were later released but after being tortured and abused.
The victim who spoke to MMI showed pictures of him bleeding on the face after receiving several blows from police officers.