• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Asaba boils as police officer kills businessman over N100

Man demands N500m damages from Police IG over false ‘wanted’ declaration

Parts of Asaba, Delta State capital, on Wednesday afternoon, witnessed an uprising of protesters mainly youths who were angry over the killing of a civilian identified to be a popular phone seller, by a trigger-happy police officer.

The slain youth by name, Onyeka Ibe, was said to be trader in the Ogbogonogo market located along Nnebisi Road but was shot dead along Mgbolu-Illah Road within Asaba metropolis, in a controversial circumstance, which led to the closure of the nearby Police ‘A’ Division for fear of reprisal attack.

Eyewitness accounts revealed that Ibeh was shot in the head by a member of police stop-and-search team on duty on the Mgbolu-Illah Road for refusing to part with N100.

It was gathered that the police officer claimed that the deceased was a yahoo boy.

The suspect, Inspector Obi Ebri attached to the Area Command, Asaba later explained, “This afternoon, we embarked on township patrol on Illah road where we were doing stop and search. I heard a voice from about 10, 15 kilometers, hold him, hold him. Before I could turn, the young man used his left hand to ruffle rifle noozle and said I will kill you and go with your rifle.”

Following the brutal killing, the angry youths said to be more from the Ogbogonogo market stormed the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba and took Ibeh’s corpse and headed to the police headquarters, Okpanam Road.

More residents joined in the protest as they sighted the lifeless body of the late Ibeh. Some of them chanted, “For the sake of ordinary N100 a promising young man was killed just like that!”

Read also: Why APC is launching attacks against Obi — Osuntokun

While lamenting police brutality, they demanded for justice to be done to the deceased.

In his reaction, Ari Mohammed Ali, the state commissioner of police (CP), said: “We were at the security council meeting this afternoon when we received a distressed call to the effect that an inspector of Police attached to Area Command here in Asaba was alleged to have shot and killed an innocent member of the public, one Ibe Emmanuel Onyeka.

“I was at the state security council meeting when the incident happened and because of the seriousness of the incident, we have to hurriedly close the meeting. I got to the command headquarters and saw a mammoth crowd of young boys and girls protesting the death of an innocent civilian. I want to put it on record that this command will not take it, neither do I condone it, and the force hierarchy will never support this kind of nasty situation and consequently the inspector has been arrested alongside other members of the team.

As a discipline organisation, we have our own internal discipline mechanism, and to put it on record that he would be tried summarily and dismissed and then be prosecuted to face justice. I want to assure members of the public that justice would be done and served. We cannot condone it and nobody would tolerate it here”.

Meanwhile, Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta State Governor, has called on the police to launch a thorough investigation into the alleged killing of the young man.

He decried the shooting of Ibe which was said to have occurred along Ugbolu-Illah Road by a member of stop-and-search police team on duty on the road.

In a statement by Okisa Ifeajika, the Chief Press Secretary, the governor sued for calm, and appealed to residents not to take laws into their hands but should allow the police to conduct an indepth probe into the circumstances that led to the sad incident.

He disclosed that the police officer, an Inspector who allegedly fired the shot that killed Ibe was promptly arrested and currently being detained at the command Headquarters in Asaba.

He advised citizens to go about their normal businesses and remain law- abiding , assuring that the law will take its course on the incident after a thorough investigation by the police.

Okowa expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased and reaffirmed the resolve of the state government to ensure that the prevailing peace in the state endured.