There was tension in Asaba, Delta State capital, Thursday, following the alleged killing of a middle-aged businessman by a police officer after the deceased reportedly refused to offer him a ₦100 bribe at a checkpoint.
The killing led to a serious protest in the capital city, as residents condemned the dastardly act of the police officer. The deceased, who was identified as Ibe Emmanuel Onyeka, was shot around Ugbolu area within the Asaba metropolis.
The late Onyeka who is in his early twenties was said to be a phone dealer at the popular Ogbogonogo Market, Asaba.
Angered by the development, the youths from the market who took the corpse from the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Asaba, matched the streets to the Police headquarters, demanding for justice.
Confirming the killing, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Ari Mohammed Ali, 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”.
The suspect, Inspector Obi Ebri attached Area Command, Asaba, said: “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 kilometres, 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.
“Before I could turn to drag it with him, my belt entered the trigger and it fired. It was not intentional if he had not touched the noozle, I would not have followed it up. After this I have to go to my office to report. Nobody demanded money from him rather he refused to stop for check. We were five in number. I feel very bad because this was not intentional.”