The people of Obinomba area of Umukwata Kingdom in Ukwuani local government area of Delta State and the state police command have disagreed over the murder of a 29-year-old man simply identified as Gift.
While the police said a bullet fired in self-defence by one of its men killed the victim, a source who witnessed the incident narrated that one of the operatives shot directly at Gift.
The command’s police public relations officer (PPRO), DSP Bright Edafe, said a team of policemen in the area on their way back after responding to a call from a boy who was shot by suspected rival cult group at past 9pm on Friday, saw a group of boys numbering about 50 having a birthday party. Edafe explained that this was after the policemen had rushed the victim of the cult attack who they saw in his pool of blood to the hospital.
According to him, “One of the inspectors went close to them and while trying to caution them they rushed.
“We don’t know the number of boys that rushed him and the inspector was armed with AK 47 rifle. So, while they were struggling his rifle with him, the backup men now fired.
“It was the shot that hit one of the boys on his lap. Getting to the hospital the boy that was shot by rival cult group and the boy that the police ammunition hit, both later died in the hospital.”
The police image-maker who confirmed that normalcy has been restored in the community following a protest that broke out as a result of the incident decried the increasing cases of people daring policemen who are armed.
But some of the boys that were at the birthday party with the deceased said the policemen just drove down without interrogating anybody. “They started shooting into the air and then aimed at the boy, shot him. They allowed him to bleed to death,” they alleged.
“When we noticed that the young man was bleeding and gasping for air, they immediately rushed him to Dominion Medical Centre here in Obiaruku but on arrival the guy was confirmed dead and then they dropped him and zoomed off,” one of the eyewitnesses claimed.
The development led to protest by residents who blocked the Obiaruku section of the ever-busy Sapele/Abraka-Agbor Expressway to demand for justice.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the wife of the deceased delivered a baby three months ago before the sad incident even as the protesters were demanding for the arrest, dismissal and prosecution of the officers involved in the killing of the victim.
It was also gathered that Ukwuani LGA chairman Hon Possible Ajede led a team of military officers to meet with the deceased’s family and members of the community.