Sunday, December 20, 2020 8:56 pm
By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
A cop, suspected to be drunk and said to be attached to Elelewon Police Divisional headquarters at Obio-Akpor/ Local Government area of Rivers State, has allegedly shot dead one Jimoh Abiodun, a native of Kwara state after an altercation over bail money.
A brother to the deceased, Ismaheel Jimoh while narrating what transpired said Police Officers on a patrol van stopped him and his brother while they were on motorbike going back to the house on the night of Friday 18 December 2020.
Mr Ismaheel explained that the Police officers searched them and saw nothing incriminating, except their ID cards, iPhone and other handsets.
He disclosed that one of the Police officers insisted on taking them to the Police station at Elelenwo. They obeyed.
Mr Ismaheel further explained that he rode on his motorbike and was at the front, while his deceased brother was inside the Police patrol van as they were heading to the station.
He stated that at the front of the station, one of the Police officers allegedly asked them to bail themselves(with money), but he pleaded with the officer that they had only N1,500 left .
According to Ismaheel, other cops told the officer who reportedly shot his brother dead to let them go since nothing incriminating was found on them but the officer refused.
Mr Ismaheel revealed that while the officer who was drunk was beating his brother at the front of the Police station, he heard two gunshots. When he turned back, his brother was lying on the floor.
Mr Ismaheel narrated further that he and the other Police Officers took his brother to three different hospitals which declined to attend to him and on their way to the University of Port Harcourt Hospital, UPTH, the officers drove so recklessly that he fell out from the back of the patrol van which made him to sustain several degree of injuries.
He further alleged that the Police officers did not come back to check on him; they just drove off with the brother. He noted that it was in the morning he went back with his brother’s wife to Elelewon Police station where they learned the brother later died. Mr Ismaheel called on well meaning Nigerians to ensure justice is done on the matter.
Meanwhile, the wife to the deceased, Mrs Azeezat Omolara Jimoh who wept uncontrollably while speaking to journalists expressed shock that her husband was killed for no reason. She called on the Rivers State Government, the Police authorities in the state and well meaning Nigerians to come to their aide.
In his reaction, a Human Rights activist, Prince Wiro, expressed worry at the prevailing trend of killing of innocent citizens by Police Officers in Rivers State.
Wiro called on the Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, to immediately open an investigation into the incident with a view to prosecuting any of his officers found culpable.
Our correspondent reports that the deceased, Abiodun Jimoh was a member of staff of INTELS in Onne, Eleme Local Government area of Rivers State and is survived by his wife and three Children aged six,four and one year.
About a week ago, a Tricycle Driver in Rukpokwu in Obio-Akpor local government area of Rivers State was killed by one Police Inspector Christopher Obah for refusing to give him N100 bribe. The action sparked off protests by members of Tricycle Driver Union. About four more persons died of gunshot wounds allegedly fired by Policemen trying to disperse the Protesters.
The Commissioner of Police, CP, Mukan vowed that the Inspector who was arrested and undergoing orderly room trial would be brought to Court to face murder charge.
He added that any Policeman under his watch found to use firearms recklessness would bear the full weight of the law because they have been trained on the acceptable standard of the use of firearms.
“Firearms are to protect the lives and properties of innocent citizens, not to kill them”, Mukan said on live television while reacting to the killing of the Tricycle Driver in Rukpokwu Community.
In a swift reaction, Mukan while confirming the tragic incident, condemned in the strongest terms, the killing of Abiodun Jimoh.
In a press statement, SP Nnamdi Omoni, the Spokesman of the Rivers Police Command said: “The sad incident happened at the Station, where the Sergeant without justification shot the Victim, Abiodun Jimoh who was immediately rushed to the hospital but later died. His remains have been deposited in the Mortuary.”
He said the incident is being investigated and the outcome would be communicated to the public. Meanwhile the Police Sergeant who carried out the dastardly act is in custody for debriefing and psychological evaluation. His Orderly Room Trial will commence in earnest, for possible arraignment.
He said the Command is in touch with the family and has commiserated with them over the unfortunate incident and has assured them that the interest of justice will be served in the circumstance. He appealed for calm and that the people should allow the law to take its full course.