A police officer, Mohammed Usman, yesterday allegedly shot two drivers in Lokoja, Kogi State. This was at the popular Ibro Motor Park opposite the Lokoja International Market. The police officer shot them dead due to the refusal of the drivers to bribe him.
This was confirmed by the Branch Chairman of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) at the park, Ibrahim Yakubu. He said that the incident ignited when one of their drivers was stopped by a police team. This happened at a checkpoint in Zango area on the Lokoja-Okene highway and demanded a bribe from them.
The driver told the policemen that he had nothing to give them and continued his journey towards Lokoja.
However, the policemen were not contented with the driver’s reply and chased him to Ibro Motor Park area. That was where the driver stopped his vehicle and ran to the park to seek refuge.
Yakubu continued, “We were just sitting at the park about 11 a.m. when we started hearing sporadic gunshots. The next thing we saw one of our fellow drivers ran to the union office.
“The next thing, we saw two policemen followed him down. Our union officials addressed them and they left.
“The driver said he left his vehicle by the roadside. And when we went there, we met a police inspector inside the vehicle.
“We told him that we are taking the vehicle to the park and he followed us inside. On getting to the union office at the motor park, we told him that we had already settled the matter with the other two policemen.
“Upon hearing that, he (Usman) became furious and brought out his gun and first shot on the ground.
“As he continued his sporadic shooting, a bullet hit one of our drivers, Mohammed Attah, in the leg while another driver, Emmanuel, was hit in the stomach.
“Following the incident, the other policemen stationed outside drove into the park with their Hilux van. They rescued the inspector and drove out.
“We then went to B Division Police Station to report the matter. The DPO followed us with the victims to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) and from there we went to the state Police Command to report matter.
“The CP ordered that the policemen involved be detained until the outcome of victims in the hospital.”
Yakubu implored the Police Command to investigate the incident and ensure justice is served.
Meanwhile, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), William Aya, also confirmed the incident.
The PPRO told the media the policemen were on a routine highway operation when they stopped the driver but he refused.
This resulted in the chase on the suspicion that he may be transporting incriminating items.
Aya further explained that the driver got to the town near a motor park and abandoned his vehicle by the roadside and ran into the park.
He said one of the policemen pursued the driver. In the process, there was a misunderstanding between him and the transporters which led to accidental discharge.
Aya said the policemen involved had been detained. The matter is being investigated by the State Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department (SCIID).
He added that appropriate sanctions would be taken against them if found wanting at the end of the investigation.