An angry policeman, last week Wednesday, opened fire on a 17-year-old periwinkle trader and three others for allegedly causing traffic gridlock which prevented free passage of a police van, Nigeria Tribune reports.
The incident was said to have occurred at the ever-busy Tombia market round roundabout in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The policemen who were about six in number alighted from their trucks and sporadically shut at traders and pedestrians for causing gridlock, an Eyewitness said.
Speaking with Nigeria Tribune, a young lady simply identified as Joy Robert, who was with her foster mother when the incident occurred said:
“I went to Tombia market to buy something with my foster mother. While we were walking down the Tombia bridge, I saw a policeman shouting at market women to clear the road for their vehicles to pass.
“Their van was packed along the Melford Okilo road by Tombia roundabout. Before we knew it, the policeman started pointing his gun at the women, ordering them to move out of the way. Because the women hesitated to move out of their way, he started shooting the ground.
“I thought I had been shot but I heard my mom screaming that she could not move her legs. It was at that point I realized that she had been shot on her leg. So some persons came to our rescue after the police van had left the scene, driving towards Amossoma but I was able to write the number of the van down.
“If they line the policemen up, I would recognise them. All I want is justice for my foster mother. As we speak, the hospital is already saying that if we don’t pay an advance fee, they would discharge my mother from the hospital.”
A cleric whose wife was a victim said “I was somewhere yesterday to congratulate a friend whose wife gave birth to a baby girl.
“So I called my wife to go to Tombia market to get food items to prepare food for the woman who was just delivered of a baby. Not quite some minutes later, I got a call that my wife was shot by police.
“At that point, my temperature increased immediately but I managed to ask where she was and was told that she had been rushed to a nearby hospital. In fact, when I saw my wife, I couldn’t believe my eyes. She was badly brutalized.
“As we speak, the bone between her ankle and knee is badly damaged. The hospital is asking me to provide N100,000 before they would commence major treatment on her leg.”
Narrating the family’s ordeal, father of the 17-year-old victim, Kingdom Baine, said the teen had gone to sell periwinkle and failed to come at 7 pm. After a search party was launched, it discovered that she was shot on both legs.
He continued, “I then wondered what she must have done wrong. Only for me to discover that she was going about her business when she was shot for no justifiable reason. The worse thing about it is that she is a secondary school student and with these injuries, I wonder if my daughter can still go back to school. So I want justice for my daughter so my mind would rest.”
The doctor attending to victims, Dr Valentine Obiora, said they are responding to treatment.
The Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Command, CP Mike Okoli, who confirmed the incident said, “We have the particulars of the vehicle as Terropol, NPF 8643C, White Hilux. Be informed that the vehicle and the policemen involved in this unprovoked attack on innocent women have been apprehended and now in my custody.”