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My friend led police team that killed my son, says father


Father of the deceased, Daniel Kokorifa (left) at the police station

Father of the deceased, Daniel Kokorifa (left) at the police station

Father of a 17-year-old boy, Innocent Kokorifa, allegedly killed by a police team in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on August 18, 2016, has demanded justice from police authorities and the government.

The grieving parent, Daniel Kokorifa has also accused the police of trying to shield the team that allegedly killed his son, noting that since the incident , the State Commissioner of Police Mr. Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, had not visited his family to commiserate with them.

The deceased’s father, an officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Rivers State Sector Command, said his son was innocent and never had any criminal records since his birth. He made the disclosure yesterday when some human rights activists led by a former secretary, Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Mr. Alagoa Morris, paid a condolence visit to his home in Okaka area of Yenagoa.

Innocent, first of five children of the FRSC official was shot dead in a mysterious circumstances by the police Anti-Vice/Anti-Kidnapping team along Airforce Road in Yenagoa. The victim was said to have been on an errand for his mother, Pere, when the police allegedly killed him and deposited his remains at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) mortuary, Yenagoa.

But the state police command had in a statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Butswat Asinim last week, claimed that the victim died in a gun battle between a three-man notorious armed robbery gang and the police team.Painting a picture on the circumstances surrounding his son’s killing, Kokorifa said upon investigation, he discovered that Innocent was killed by a police team led by his own friend.

He also said the boy died on the day his West Africa Examinations Council results were released wherein his late son cleared all his papers.Kokorifa, who hails from Indowari community in Southern Ijaw Local Council, said: “On August 18, my wife called me that our son has been shot dead. We went to the State Criminal Investigation Department but, they denied any knowledge of such an incident.

“We also we went to Anti-Vice and they also denied. When we went to the scene of the incident, we discovered that it was Anti-Vice team that came for the operation that night.“The following morning, I went to Anti-Vice again and they yet again , denied knowledge. I saw a friend, who works there and he also denied any knowledge. But I later discovered that it was my friend that led the team that killed my son.

“From there, I went to the emergency ward at the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa in search of my son. There I was told that the police brought the body that night around 11p.m. “That was how I knew my son was dead. There I saw the lifeless body of my son.”The aggrieved father said in an era of change under President Muhammadu Buhari, the police had demonstrated the same impunity, which the current administration said it had come to change.

“We are talking about my first son that I invested so much on and was preparing him to live his dream of becoming a lawyer. “The police snatched him away from me in an unprofessional manner. Yet, there is no sympathy from them.They are not handling the matter very well. It appears they want to deny me and my dead son justice.”Hundreds of youths, women and activists at the weekend trooped to the streets to protest against the alleged extra-judicial killing of Innocent.

The aggrieved protesters took off from the NUJ Secretariat, Azikoro Road and marched towards police command headquarters but were stopped by the police at the Onopa axis of the Mbiama-Yenagoa road.They displayed placards and banners with inscriptions like: ‘Police are to protect lives and properties, not to kill innocent citizens’; Not every Bayelsa youth is a criminal’; ‘Police, please stop the killings’; ‘W say no to police brutality’ and many others.

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