Saturday, 28 March 2015

"The Police Arrested Me, Tied Me To Their Van And Shot Me Over N40"

BARELY two weeks after one Chibuike Edeh, a 26-year-old worker of Protea Hotel-Benin City, died mysteriously in the custody of the police, a trigger happy police Inspector, identified as Obaro, allegedly shot another man, 25-year-old Smart Ogah, over N40 at a check point along llushi/Ubiaja Road in Esan South East Local Government Area of Edo State, last Monday.

In a petition addressed to the state Police Commissioner, Mr Samuel Adegbuyi, through his solicitor, Sheriff Okoh Esq., the victim, currently receiving treatment in an hospital, narrated how Obaro allegedly pumped bullets into his body after he handed over N40 to policemen at the check point.

The Inspector was said to be angry that the money was too small. The victim, who narrated his ordeal to Sunday Vanguard at the hospital, said, “I was going to Uromi that evening when I met the police at the check point along llushi/Ubiaja Road. They stopped my motorcycle. They asked me for money and I gave them the N40 with me. One of them was collecting the money from me but the second police man said the money was not enough.
Before I knew what was happening, he slapped me.

They tied me to their Hilux van. This man who shot me went into the Hilux and brought out his gun. He shot me with the gun and dropped it. He said he will tell me that he is an Igarra man, that he will kill me and nothing will happen. His colleagues were blaming him for shooting me. The man said I looked like the boy who assaulted them when they came to my village to arrest some body. I am from Ullushi main town in Esan South East. When they were blaming him, he now threw the handcuff key to others that they should remove the handcuff; that was how they took me to hospital.

“This happened last Monday. They apologised to me that they were sorry, that it was a mistake. Today, they told my uncle that they will take care of the bill and that they were going to give me N100,000 at the end of the day. But I didn’t agree to that. Since then, it only one of the policemen has been coming to the hospital to see me. Even since my first day in hospital, I have never set my eyes on the one that shot me. The policemen are attached to Ubiaja Police Station.

The DPO came to the hospital twice; the first time he came he gave me N2,000. Now they want to destroy my life. I am assisting my mum in the farm. I am just an ordinary school certificate holder and I did diploma in computer basic information technology. I wish to continue my education but I don’t know what the future holds for me now because my hand has been battered by the police bullet. My dad is late, we are managing life with my mum. We are five in number and I am the only son of my father.

I am appealing to Governor Adams Oshiomhole and other well-meaning Nigerians to help me so that I can get justice”.

Meanwhile in the petition addressed to Edo State Commissioner of Police, the lawyer is demanding that “ proper and adequate disciplinary measures be taken against our client’s assailants for their unlawful acts of torture, brutalization and violent attacks to his right to life, as well as authorise the payment of the sum of N10million to our client for further and better medical treatment abroad”. The petition warned that if the demand was not met in seven days, the victim will proper commence legal action to demand for justice from the police.
Speaking to Sunday Vanguard, the lawyer, Okoh, said: “Our client’s right to life was almost violated. The shooting that took place was an attempt at summary execution of an innocent citizen by men of the police, using a double barrel gun. In a country where every policeman on duty is assigned a rifle, we understand that the gun is a private gun belonging to the police Inspector Obaro who committed the act. The shooting was a violation of Section 36 Sub Section 6 of the Constitution which accords the right to fair hearing to the said Smart Ogah no matter what offence he may have committed. He was tied to a van and the assailant pumped bullets into him, that same act was a violation of Section 33 of the Constitution which guarantees Ogah the right to life.

“Read blocks have been abolished by the former IGP and we are not aware of any order from the IG instructing any police officer to come back to the road and mount check point thereby infringing on the right to freedom of movement of innocent Nigerians and extorting money from them.
This is a daily occurrence and a notorious practice by policemen from Esan Area Command, Irrua, Ubiaja Division and Uromi Divisions of the police who mount road blocks along Ubiaja Agbor Road and Ubiaja Ullushi Road and Ubiaja Ewohimi Road where they harass innocent citizens and market women every day. Even though several reports have been made in the past, no action has been taken because it is strongly believed that some top police officers get returns from these road blocks”.
Contacted, Edo State police spokesman, Mr Joseph Edogiawerie, said the command will contact the Area Commander concerned to have a detailed report on the Ogor incident.

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