The incident, which occurred around 12:30am, when the governor returned from his wife’s birthday party, left the victim unconscious.
The mobile policeman, Corporal Itere Ewedor, was said to have been on duty at the security post when the governor’s convoy drove in.
Efforts to speak to Ewedor on Saturday were not successful as he was said to be resting but his friend, Mr. David Edhie, confirmed the incident.
He told SUNDAY PUNCH that after hearing the hooting of the horn from the governor’s convoy, the policeman opened the gate only for the ADC, a superintendent of police, and two other senior police officers to descend on him.
He said, “When the governor’s convoy got to the gate, the men of the civil defence corps and members of the Imo orientation corps, who were supposed to open the gate, were not around. So, there was a delay. Then my friend went to open the gate.
“When the convoy drove in, the ADC and some other police officers came down and asked him why he delayed. They wanted to collect his gun, but he refused. So, they started beating him. They beat him until he became unconscious, with bruises all over his face and parts of his body.”
Edhie added that the ADC took Ewedor, in his unconscious state, to Shell Camp Police Station and requested that he be detained.
He said, “The police officers at the station refused. They said they could not detain someone that was dying. Then Gabriel made arrangements for Ewedor to be taken to the Federal Medical Centre Owerri, where he was admitted. After sometime, he regained consciousness.”
SUNDAY PUNCH learnt that Ewedor, was discharged from the hospital around 5pm on Saturday.
Edhie said the ADC had made frantic efforts to get Ewedor discharged from the hospital, because sympathisers, including journalists, were visiting the the place.
When contacted, the state Commissioner for Information and Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Mr. Chinedu Offor, refuted the report.
He said, “The ADC to Governor Okorocha is a true professional, there is no way he could have descended so low to physically assault somebody. In order not to scare people away, we use men of the civil defence corps at the gate. We don’t use policemen at the gates of the government house. So, if anybody says a policeman was beaten up for refusing to open the gate, it is false. I was at the government house around 12:30am. Such a thing never happened.”