A commercial driver reportedly bit off and swallowed the finger of a taskforce member, Iboko Kenneth in Ebonyi State to escape arrest.
The incident occurred at the Onuebonyi Junction in the Abakaliki metropolis, when the Ministry of Capital City Development and the taskforce team were on an inspection tour to stop illegal parking and loading.
The driver was said to be among those who engaged in illegal loading of passengers and when the taskforce attempted to arrest him, he bit off the finger of one of them.
The victim has, however, been taken to the emergency unit of the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.
The Commissioner for Capital City Development, Chief Onyekachi Nwebonyi, who spoke with journalists in Abakaliki, on Tuesday, described the incident as terrible, unexpected and barbaric.
He said, “It is very unfortunate that a driver can attack a law officer who is trying to organise the state to the point of chopping off his finger. This is terrible, unexpected and barbaric.
“So, I want to plead with the motorists not to pull our legs because the taskforce are not weak and we do our job within the confines of the law, but for a driver to chop-off a taskforce finger is unacceptable and I assure you that we will get to the root of the matter, it will not happen again.
“We are not using force but the problem is that our people are stubborn particularly the motorists, some of them anyway. I want to commend some of the transport companies for their cooperation so far that led to the peaceful relocation of the parks within the city to the central park known as Akubaraoha Abakaliki Central Park. If you go there now, the park is very peaceful, businesses are going on, no complain.
“As the government, we are doing our best to fence the place and put internal roads and other social amenities.
“But we have discovered with dismay that some drivers are bent on operating from the streets instead of doing the needful and by joining their colleagues at the central park.
“My encounter with them this morning is evidence to that assertion. Along waterworks road, behind the police checkpoints there, we saw over 10 buses loading Enugu and Onitsha.
“We also took a patrol to Onuebonyi Junction where we saw 11 trucks, buses, and Sienna buses loading there not minding our repeated warnings to that effect.”
According to the Commissioner, the taskforce arrested five drivers for illegal loading and they would be arraigned in court.