Mike Odiegwu, Port Harcourt
A policeman attached to the Marine Department and identified simply as Inspector James has gunned down a civilian security guard hired by a company at Abonnema Wharf in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The father to the deceased, Mr. Innocent Gbaraka, who cried uncontrollably reportedly threatened to commit suicide if the police failed to give him justice.
Gbaraka, who kept saying, “I am finished”, insisted that his life amounted to nothing without his “only hope”, adding, “if not that my wife stopped me, I would have hanged myself”.
It was learnt that Gospel, who hails from Gwara Community in Khana Local Government Area of the state, was killed at his place of work on Sunday.
Gbaraka described his son as his only hope and called on the Inspector-General of Police, the police commissioner, and others to intervene in the matter.
He said: “I was in church when somebody came to call me that my son, who left for work, had been killed. I thought it was a joke. He took me to UPTH where I saw my son in uniform lying dead.
“When I asked the supervisor of the company what happened, he said a policeman working in the same company with my son shot him dead. I don’t know what my son did that he killed him.
“I don’t have anything to say than let justice prevail. I don’t have anybody that is why I am crying for a boy I suffered to train. I am finished. He was my only hope.
“If not for my wife I would have hanged myself because I don’t know what I am doing here again. I will hang myself if justice does not prevail,” he cried.
The Centre for Basic Rights Protection and Accountability Campaign (CBRPAC) called for an unbiased investigation into the incident to determine the circumstances that led to the shooting of the deceased.
Secretary Board of Trustee, CBRPAC, Prince Wiro, urged the police to hasten their investigation and begin prosecution of anybody found wanting.
Though the police had yet to officially react to the matter, it was gathered that the accused policeman was being detained at the Divisional Police headquarters in Mile 1 Diobu.
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But youths under the auspices of Ogoni Youths Federation (OYF) demanded justice and called for immediate investigations.
OYF in a statement signed by its President-General, Legborsi Yamaabana, said the youths were in shock at the manner their brother was killed.
Yamaabana said: “The Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF) worldwide today Sunday 22nd November 2020 received the distressing and shocking news of the extra-judicial murder of one of its youths and shining lights, Mr. Gospel Gbaraka at the hands of a gun-wielding member of the Nigerian Police Force, one Inspector James, serving at the Marine Base Police Station in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, now being detained at the Mile One Police Station.
“Gospel Gbaraka was on duty at his security post this morning. The said Inspector James is also a police security personnel attached to the company.
“There was no altercations, riot, or crisis situation at the company involving groups of persons requiring the use of live bullets to disperse crowds, neither was there any existing problem between the deceased and Inspector James.
“As a youth body, we are incredibly pained that the life of this young man has been taken, particularly now that Nigeria is at a crossroad and the world has been awoken to the demands of #EndSars protesters whose focal point is to end the recurring decimal of police brutality and extrajudicial killings.”