Delta: Confusion as police allegedly kill middle-aged man
From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
There was confusion among residents of the densely populated Direct Labour Agency (DLA) area of Asaba, Delta State, where a middle-aged man was allegedly shot dead by police officers.
It was learnt that the police officers been on a chase of a vehicle occupied by five passengers including the deceased on suspicion of being criminals.
Eyewitnesses said the officers aimed at the tyre of the vehicle to demobilise it, adding, however, that the punctured tyre forced the vehicle to veer off the road.
According to the sources, the vehicle rammed into a fence, with the bricks collapsing on its bonnet and windscreen.
The vehicle reportedly screeched to a halt, with three of its occupants escaping, while the other two surrendered to the police.
The police were said to have allegedly shot one of them at close range before arresting the second one.
Sources added that the deceased was not armed when he was allegedly gunned down, adding that nothing was found on him when his lifeless body was searched.
But acting Public Relations Officer of Delta State Police Command DSP Bright Edafe said the occupants of the vehicle were suspects who had just operated in another part of the town.
‘We had an intelligence report that they had just finished an operation and were moving towards DLA road.
‘So our men mounted surveillance, and when the officers saw the car, they flagged it down but they refused to stop.
‘As such, our men chased them to the point where their vehicle hit the fence. They opened fire on the officers who responded, and in the process, three of them escaped while one was shot.
‘One suspect was arrested while a locally-made gun was recovered,’ Edafe said.
Regardless, a human rights activist, Mr Victor Ojei of Young Nigerian Rights Organisation, described the incident as another case of extra-judicial killing and called for proper investigation.
‘This action must be investigated, this is an extrajudicial killing of a very young boy who has a bright future.
‘We have the Administration of Criminal Justice Act protects the criminals or the accused.
‘We as Nigerian citizens have a right to life, nobody has the right to take anybody’s life. These policemen need to be investigated,’ Ojei fumed.