Death of about-to-wed groom: Edo’s day of rage

burnt vehicle - Death of about-to-wed groom: Edo’s day of rage
Spread the love

Ruth and David Okojie would have consummated their love via wedding by tomorrow, Saturday, February 10, but for the mishap that turned their bliss into sour, as overzealous corps reportedly terminated the bridegroom’s life, on Tuesday morning over an alleged N200 bribe. PATRICK AHANOR reports

The excitement of Ruth and David Okojie, ahead of their planned wedding scheduled for next Saturday knew no bound as they look forward to the day to officially professed their love for each other.
To this end, the would-be couple woke up on Tuesday February 7, and set out for shopping ahead of the D- day.
They had hope to also visit a couple of friends and intended guests, for the event and afterwards return to their duty post.
To achieve this, the lovers left their abode at Urora community near Benin City, the Edo State capital as early 7.30AM in order to fulfill their schedule for the day.
However, the duo’s hope of a lifetime love was shattered few minutes into their outing as some overzealous operatives from Esigie Divisional Police Station, who were on a routine stop-and-search along 3rd East Circular road, by Igun Junction, pushed the bridegroom to death.

#150.00 bribe
Trouble reportedly started when the victim presented on demand, expired papers of his BMW car marked: Edo: AFZ 846 HW, to one of the police men.
An argument was said to have ensued between the policeman and the driver after the security operative rejected “as too small” an offer of #150.00 bribe handed out by the deceased.
His would-be wife and fiancée who rode with him in the vehicle said: “as the hot argument rages, I reached out for my bag to give the policemen #1,000, because we were rushing somewhere.
“But before I knew it, he pushed my fiancé into an oncoming petrol tanker which crushed him to death… and we have scheduled our wedding for next Saturday.”
The development later turned violent as angry youths immediately attacked the policemen when they attempted to take the body away.

Some policemen at the checkpoint where the incident happened managed to escape the melee but a witness who craved for anonymity said a policeman was lynched.
The rampaging youths threw stones at the policemen to protest their displeasure over the incident.
The demonstration caused heavy gridlock along M. M. Way and other adjourning roads; such as Akpakpava, New Lagos road, Dawson and 2nd East Circular.
Two police operation vehicles were set ablaze by the angry youths.
The mobile court sitting at the Third Junction was disrupted by the rioters and everybody arrested for various offenses were set free before a vehicle kept there was burnt.
Bonfires were set by the angry youths in protest of the killing thereby obstructing the free flow of traffic
A policeman was also beaten and left for dead in the ensuing melee; while an unidentified man was also reportedly killed by police bullet around Dawson.
The security operatives had fought back by firing tear gas canisters and gunshots into the air when the protesters surged toward Esigie police station with alleged intention of setting the security ablaze.

Victims remains
A team of Police reinforcement and the Nigerian Army were deployed to the area to restore normalcy.
The State Commissioner of police, Johnson Kokumo confirmed the development to journalists at the Benin Central Hospital Morgue where the victims remains was deposited
Kokumo said policemen allegedly involved in the deaths have been identified, arrested and are currently been investigated, adding, that the command would commence full scale investigation of the matter.
According to him, “any policeman found culpable would be made to face the full wrath of the law because the police force will not reneged on his fight against any form of human right abuses.
The police boss urged all parents/guardians and religious leaders to prevail on their children not to take laws into their hands.
In the same vein, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called for calm over the clash arising from the death.

In a statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communications Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, Obaseki called urged aggrieved parties to allow for justice to run its due course, adding that efforts are underway to ensure that those liable for the crime are brought to book.
The governor condemned the fact that the incident degenerated into civil disturbance, noting that there were better ways to resolve the scuffle.
According to him, “The relevant security agencies are on the alert to quell further breakdown of law and order in the area.
Be that as it may, it was observed that the violent protest that greeted the driver’s death stem from alleged notoriety of the Esigie Divisional Police operatives for human right abuses.
Only time will time if the muster of alleged human right abuses extortion by operatives of the Nigeria police force would be tamed by relevant authorities once and for all.


Spread the love

Speak Your Mind