Oct 29, 2011 – Nigerian Policemen Shot Son Dead in His Mother’s Presence
Here is another sad story of Police Brutality in Nigeria Naijan.com culled from Vanguard News.
As 25-year-old Emmanuel Victor, an indigene of Opubo Nkoro in Rivers State, left home for church in the morning of October 16, 2011 with his mother and siblings, there was no inkling he would not return home.
But that was to be his last outing on earth as some trigger happy cops not only put paid to his ambition of studying law at the university by cutting him down at his prime but also left his mother, Mrs. Grace Victor, and siblings devastated.
The killing of Emmanuel that Sunday afternoon, some distance from a police checkpoint along Sani Abacha expressway in the heart of Yenagoa, came barely five months after his arrival in the state capital to assist in the family business as a marketer.
He was killed right in the presence of his mother who watched in horror.
The deceased was shot severally, even after he had hit the ground. His offence? He was said to have challenged the police, asking them why even on Sunday they could not go to church but chose to extort money from commercial bike operators and other road users…that they often run for cover when they see armed robbers while they intimidate innocent, law abiding Nigerians.
Emmanuel is not around to give his own side of the story as his killers were alleged to have claimed that they acted in self defence when the deceased lunged at them with scissors and, in the process, injured three of them.
This claim was, however, debunked by eyewitnesses who insisted that the injuries on the policemen were self-inflicted to cover up the murder.
Narrating her ordeal, the bereaved mother, Mrs. Victor, said her son was killed in her presence by the policemen who shot repeatedly at him even after he had fallen on the ground.
The woman, in shock, noted that her son was cut down in his prime by those who were supposed to protect him, lamenting that he only came to Yenagoa in May, 2011 to work in the family business as a marketer and was not the type to move anyhow.
According to her, Emmanuel had nursed the ambition of studying law at the university.
Mrs. Victor, who gave a graphic account of what transpired that fateful day amidst sobs, said, “After the close of church, I came out and boarded a commercial motor bike and, not far from where I took off, I heard gun shots. I was scared and told the bike operator to stop for us to take cover.
“All of a sudden, I saw my son running and being chased by the police. Police vans were parked on both sides of the road.
And, when I discovered that it was my son they were chasing and about shooting, I ran towards one of their officers close to one of the vans. I told him, `please, that is my son, he is a brother (that is a believer)’.
“By this time, they were corking their guns. And, by the time the officer I approached could signal his colleagues to stop; they were already shooting at my son.”
Continuing, she said: “I saw him shoot with my two eyes, no mercy at all, they shot him brutally. As he fell while they were shooting him, the tallest of them still continued shooting at him on the ground to his satisfaction before he stopped. My son was holding a Bible when he was shot. I rushed, as a mother, to go and attend to him but they threatened that if I didn’t move back, they would shoot me. They made me to move back. I did not see any of the policemen with any stain of blood then. But they just picked his Bible and drove off. It was another police vehicle that came and picked him.”
According to the mother, though she was not there when the matter started between her son and the policemen, eye witnesses said the late Emmanuel made certain statements when he saw the cops extorting money from Okada riders and other road users….that the action of the policemen was wrong and that if they see armed robbers whether they would stay. “He even asked them that …even on Sunday, why they won’t go to church and leave extortion….This infuriated the policemen and they chased him and shot him dead.”
Anger by the action of the policemen especially at a time residents of the state were trying to put behind them the excesses of the outlawed Famou Tangbe security outfit, the Civil Liberties Organisation, Bayelsa State Chapter has vowed to take up take up the matter to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book and called on the state commissioner of police to, as a matter of urgency, institute an investigation to unravel the circumstances that led to the killing of the youth.
The CLO, in a statement in Yenagoa by it’s secretary, Comrade Alagoa Morris, described the killing as one too many by the police in the state, saying, “We want these extra-judicial killings to stop and perpetrators made to face the law of the land.
“Now, no matter what happened, even though police statement is saying the boy was smoking hemp and even tried to fight them when they challenged him, can a 25-year old young man over power all those police officers that chased him? Was it proper to shoot at an unarmed Nigerian? Has the police the right to pass judgment and also sentence to death? These are few of the questions that the CLO and concerned Nigerians would like the police authorities to give answers to.”
Reacting to the incident, Governor Timipre Sylva called on the people of Bayelsa to go about their lawful business without any fear of harassment, intimidation or harassment even as he called on the new commissioner of police, Mr. Hillary Okpara, to investigate the alleged extra-judiciary killing at the police checkpoint in the state capital.
The state governor, in a statement by his chief press secretary I, Mr. Sampson Atasia Oburu, said “his administration is founded on the premise of justice, fairness and respect for the rule of law and would not fold its arms and watch innocent citizens being killed or maimed unjustly.”
Sylva expressed sadness over the incident and “commiserates with the family of the deceased and worshippers of Christ Embassy Church, Yenagoa”
God have mercy on us, these are the people in charge of protecting us , see how deadly they have become !