BENIN CITY – Outrage that lasted several hours resulting in the setting ablaze of five police vehicles and destruction of property greeted the despicable killings of two persons by police officers in Benin City, Tuesday morning.
Commercial activities were paralyzed as banks, offices, and petrol stations along Akpakpava, First, Second, Third East Circular and Ikpoba Slope were shut down for business, as men and officers of the Nigerian Army where seen evacuating dead bodies and providing security to the areas.
Police officers on duty in the area momentarily fled their duty posts over fear of being lynched by the angry youths.
One of the victims identified as Osagie a cab driver was allegedly pushed by a policeman to a fast moving truck which accidentally crushed his head on the road.
According to an eyewitness account, trouble started when the commercial taxi driver, who also had his pregnant wife to-be inside his BMW car with registration number AFZ-846HW refused to part with N100 “Eguje” allegedly demanded by the policeman at a check point mounted at MMM way by Igun junction, Benin City, about 7:45am, yesterday.
He was said to have offered N50 which was bluntly rejected as altercation the ensued resulted in his being pushed to road by the policeman.
Other victims were protesters who police allegedly shot during the protest.
“I dey my store when i see the police dey ask the man for money, the man say him never work that morning, say N50 him get, but police say he must pay N100, but the man say him no get, say if dem wan kill am, make dem kill am and him con sit down for ground.
“So as the man wan stand up, the Police say him must pay the money or else him no go commot, meanwhile trailer dey come opposite dem, na the Police man say since na die you wan die, make you better die, the Police con push the man for center of road and trailer come match the man head and the man come die.
“So people wey dey pass for road and bus drivers come dey protest say wetin Police do no good”. A witness stated.
Also speaking, one of the protesters who condemned the killing of the commercial driver, attributed the killings of the other five protesters to the razing of four Police Patrol Hilux vans earlier brougth to scenes to calm the protesters.
The deceased wife to be who was crying and could not speak to newsmen who besieged the scene, was shouting , “na next week we wan do our marriage Oh”
Contacted, the Edo State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Chidi Nwabuzor said “Observer we are on the field working, when it’s necessary to give out information please we will do so”.
Some of the vehicles burnt by the angry protesters include Edo state Operation Thunder Storm, Patrol Vans attached to Esigie, St. Savoiur police Divisions as well as a Toyota Audi said to belong to an unknown motorist, while a BMW car belonging to Osagie was abandoned at Igun junction along MM way.