Delta: Residents protest against police killing of man for alleged N100 bribe
Some residents of Asaba, the Delta State capital, yesterday, protested alleged killing of a 30-year-old businessman by an inspector of Police, Obi Abri, attached to Area Command in Asaba.
The Guardian learnt that the deceased, Ibe Emmanuel Onyeka, was allegedly shot dead for refusing to part with N100.00 at a checkpoint around Ugbolu area.
The late Onyeka, a phone dealer at the popular Ogbogonogo Market, was reportedly shot on the head at close range after a heated argument with the police officer over the money.
Eyewitnesses said after the man’s body was rushed to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba, youths from the market where he used to sell his goods invaded the hospital, retrieved the corpse and started parading with it around Asaba in demand for justice.
Some aggrieved youths, who spoke to The Guardian, lamented the killing of the Imo-born businessman, describing him as a complete gentleman.
According to one Kester, “They killed the businessman in the presence of his new pregnant wife. He is an international businessman with eight shops. They killed him for N100.00. They asked him to stop and he stopped. He is not a Yahoo boy, he sells phones.”
Another colleague of the deceased, identified simply as Obi, called for justice for Onyeka.
But in his defence, Inspector Abri, who allegedly killed the businessman, said nobody demanded money from him; rather, he refused to stop for a check. “We were five in number. I feel very bad because this was not intentional,” Abri said.
He added: “This afternoon, we embarked on patrol of Illah road, where we were doing stop and search. I heard a voice from about 15 kilometres, ‘hold him, hold him’. Before. I could turn, the young man used his left hand to hold the nozzle of my rifle, and said, ‘I will kill you and go with your rifle’.
Before I could turn to drag it with him, my belt entered the trigger and it fired. It was not intentional if he had not touched the nozzle of the gun, it would not have happened.”
Meanwhile, the state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ari Mohammed Alli, who was held hostage for hours by protesters at the police headquarters, said the suspected killer of the businessman has been arrested.
Ali appealed to the victim’s family and the general public to be calm.
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