Naked protest lands taxi driver in hot water

By , K24 Digital
On Sat, 18 Apr, 2020 14:35 | < 1 min read
Stripping naked is a trick that has been used by some taxi and commercial bus drivers in Nigeria to evade arrest. [PHOTO | COURTESY]
Stripping naked is a trick that has been used by some taxi and commercial bus drivers in Nigeria to evade arrest. [PHOTO | COURTESY]

A Nigerian taxi driver who stripped himself naked on the highway to protest his arrest by security operatives has been sentenced to six months in prison.

Officials had arrested Emmanuel Imhoudu in Abuja for flouting a ban on non-essential movement in the city where there is a lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus.

On Thursday, a magistrate court in the city found him guilty of three charges brought against him and sentenced him to jail, but gave him the option of paying $78 (Ksh8, 300) as fine and an apology on national television.

It is not clear if any of the charges was for his protesting naked, but the Nigerian newspaper Premium Times, quoting an eyewitness in court, said he chose the option of a fine.

In a video posted on social media, the visibly upset driver could be seen crying as he stripped himself of clothes to protest his arrest.

“I have children, I have a wife to feed, it’s money I came to look for,” he said in Pidgin.

“You kept us at home, what do you want us to do. Hunger virus is more than coronavirus.”

He said he had achieved what he wanted by taking off his clothes as he wanted the world to see his nakedness.

Stripping naked is a trick that has been used by some taxi and commercial bus drivers in Nigeria to evade arrest as security operatives are usually reluctant to seize naked people.

There have been extreme instances of drivers stripping naked and smearing themselves with their own excrement to stop state officials from arresting them.

On Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari announced an extension on a lockdown in three states including Lagos and Ogun, to stop the spread of coronavirus.