A police officer attached to the Delta State Police Command has been declared wanted after he shot a student over N1000 bribe and absconding from duty.
With the buzz created by the hashtag #EndSARS yet to die down, a police officer in Delta State has reportedly shot an 18-year-old female student, Sophia Ogogo, at a checkpoint over a bribe of N1,000.
Punch reports that the officer identified as Sergeant Abua, attached to the Ibusa Division Police Division, is currently on the run just as the police have been doing everything to cover up the crime.
It was gathered that Sergeant Abua and other officers had mounted a checkpoint in the community when a Toyota Corolla driven by one Jerry Akinlabi, an estate agent, carrying the victim, a student at the Delta State Polytechnic, and a civil servant, Victor Emeagwai, was flagged down by the team of five policemen including Sergeant Abua, at a checkpoint along Igbuzo Market.
One of the policemen identified as Nwokolo, was said to have demanded money from Akinlabi who told him he had he did not have N200 to give him but Nwokolo reportedly insisted on taking one of the N1,000 notes Akinlabi had on him.
But Akinlabi who did not want to part with the N1,000 drove off from the checkpoint, Sergeant Abua was said to have shot at the car and the bullets pierced the back of the vehicle, hitting Ogogo, who sat at the back seat, as well as Emeagwai who was at the passenger’s seat.
Realising what he had done, Sergeant Abua was said to have dropped his gun and took to his heels.
Narrating how the incident happened, Akinlabi said:
“On Sunday, November 17, 2017, I was driving to the Ibuza Market and on getting to a checkpoint, I met the policemen. We knew one another some months ago when I had an issue concerning a property at the station.
I sounded the horn to greet them but they did not respond. One of them used his gun to hit the boot and I reversed. He said I wanted to beat the checkpoint.
I told him that I assumed that they knew me very well and apologised. He demanded money. I wanted to give him N100 or N200, but it was N1,000 notes I had on me and I explained to him.
He said, ‘Am I too small to collect N1,000?’ When I declined to give him N1,000, he asked me to pull over, which I did. As the argument over N1,000 got heated, I entered my car and drove off. What I heard next were three gunshots aimed at my car.
A bullet pierced the car, hit my girlfriend’s body, came out and hit my friend in the back.”
Akinlabi said he called a senior police officer at Asaba who notified the State Commissioner of Police of the incident.
“The CP and the DPO of the Ibusa Police Station came to the FMC where I had taken the victims to and deposited N100,000, but I had spent much more than that.
Meanwhile, the policeman who shot at us had gone to drop the gun at the station and fled. The other four policemen were detained at the command headquarters. My friend and I wrote our statements there.”
Akinlabi further explained that a police officer asked him to drop his car key to aid the investigation, adding that he handed over the car key but activated the steering lock because he suspected foul play.
"I went to meet with the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 5, Benin, Edo State, who assigned a policeman to take my statement.
As I was returning from Zone 5 on Monday, I received a call from the Investigating Police Officer at the police headquarters in Asaba and he asked for the steering key.
The IPO and a policeman came down to the hospital and I told them I would have to look for the key when I got home.
The policeman sent from Zone 5 invited my friend to the police headquarters in Asaba to write his statement too. When he got there, he saw some policemen moving the car.
He called to ask me if I gave them the key to unlocking the steering and I said no. When I called the IPO, he confirmed what my friend said and he told me that there was no cause for alarm.”
Akinlabi said when his car was returned, the policemen had washed it, cleaning the blood while the with the bullet holes in the vehicle were covered and painted.
A human rights activist and the Coordinator of Behind Bars, Prince Harrison Gwamnishu, who was contacted by Akinlabi contacted on the matter, said the group would institute a legal action against the police.
“We want to charge the case to court as a civil matter. It is barbaric. Why did the police wash the bloodstains in the car and covered the bullet holes without the consent of the owner?
In their efforts to destroy evidence, they washed the car of the blood stains not knowing pictures of the car had already been taken.
The other officers who carried out the attempted murder of Sophia are currently in detention Zone 5 Benin led by ASP Akhabue Easter while one of them Sergeant Abua is still on the run.
Why will the Nigeria Police (Delta State Command) destroy evidence? Where is Sergeant Abua?
Our lawyers will be doing the needful to see that all the officers involved in the attempted murder of Jerry Akinlabi, Victor Emeagwai, Sophia Ogogo are brought to book and pay dearly for it."
Commenting on the issue, the State Police Public Relations Officer [PPRO], DSP Andrew Aniamaka, said the policemen would be brought to book if found culpable after the investigation.
“The case is being investigated. However, our utmost concern is that the injured victim gets proper treatment. The Area Commander and the DPO of the Division in question are involved in the matter.
The case is being investigated by Zone 5. Where somebody is absent from duty for 21 days without any reason, we declare such a person a deserter.
So, there is no anxiety that the policeman is on the run. Be Rest assured that the right thing will be done.”