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N20 bribe: Police killed my son and threaten me for complaining, cries bereaved mum

Posted by From NWABUEZE OKONKWO, Onitsha on 2007/12/07 | Views: 861 |

N20 bribe: Police killed my son and threaten me for complaining, cries bereaved mum


This world is full of evil, full of uncertainties and full of mishap. If I had known Daniel my only son would die that day, I would have stopped him from going to school or even going out at all that fateful day. However, God giveth and taketh but I swear that the policeman who killed my only son for nothing must never go free. Daniel was very ambitious, brilliant, talented and naturally intelligent".

"This world is full of evil, full of uncertainties and full of mishap. If I had known Daniel my only son would die that day, I would have stopped him from going to school or even going out at all that fateful day. However, God giveth and taketh but I swear that the policeman who killed my only son for nothing must never go free. Daniel was very ambitious, brilliant, talented and naturally intelligent".

This is the lamentation of Mrs. Francisca Uwaezuoke, a senior staffer in the Agricultural Department of Idemili North Council, Ogidi, Anambra State and mother of late Daniel Ofiaeli who was shot dead at a police chechpoint on Thursday, November 8, this year at Ogidi allegedly by Inspector Gabriel Okogwu attached to Ogidi police station, over N20 bribe.

According to Mrs. Uwaezuoke, who spoke to Saturday Sun in her residence at Idemili on Wednesday, "my son left here for school at about 7 am that morning and as I was going into the bathroom to take my bath and prepare for work, some of my neighbours knocked at my door and when I heard the knock and came out, they told me to prepare and rush to the Ogidi police station because they learnt Daniel had some problems with the police there.

Double assault
Uwaezuoke said on rushing to the station, she discovered that the entrance to the station was locked and guarded by heavily armed policemen, and when she demanded to know about the problem between her son and the police, they threatened her with gun and ordered her out of sight, pointing the nozzle of their gun at her.

She said it was at that stage that she closed her eyes and visualized the lifeless body of her son lying down in front of her. With that spiritual vision, she told her self that the police might have killed him for one flimsy reason or the other and she began to wail, while her neighbours who came to the station with her dragged her back home.

Pay police for his post mortem
She complained that the next, to her greatest shock, when she went to the police headquarters at Awka for post mortem examinations on Daniel, some policemen boldly demanded money from her to issue her with a post mortem form, which made her to nearly go mad as she asked: "so if the police kill my son, they will also ask me to bring money for post mortem as if I wanted him to die in the first place".

She disclosed that what saved the situation was the intervention of some superior police officers who apologized to her and directed that the exercise should be carried out without asking her to bring money. When eventually they went for the post mortem exercise last Wednesday, November 14, the doctor advised that it would be autopsy and not post mortem. "They said autopsy would require only a pathologist to conduct. "Only God knows whether they will ask me to pay for that or not".

Compensation
Demanding that the appropriate authorities should build a house for her late only son and marry a wife for him, Uwaezuoke who burst out crying, muttered: "although building a house and marrying for him will not make him come back to life, but the idea is to ensure that all his wishes are done".
She lamented that it is unfair that the police are still extorting N20 from motorists all over the nation. Her call is that the appropriate authorities should stop police road blocks and embark on patrols without extortion because "they have now messed up my life because of extortion".

Daniel's only elder sister, Miss Chinenye Ofiaeli said she has been apprehensive since the premature death of her only brother. According to Chinenye, "since that day my brother died, I have been feeling very lonely and that has kept me uncomfortable".

The chairman of National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Idemili North council, Comrade Kingsley Ozodi who described the incident as a dastardly act by the police, said no right thinking person will applaud them for killing innocent persons.

Ozodi suggested that the rank and file of the police should undergo training to become agents of peace and not to be anti-people who rather than protect lives and property, destroy them.
The principal of Boys Secondary School, Ogbunike, Mr. Bennett Obiaeli Nnoruka who also spoke to Saturday Sun in his office, said he had written to the chairman of Anambra State Education Commission (ANSEC), through the Ogidi Zonal Director of Education, informing them that two of their students, Daniel Ofiaeli and Patrick Ukpabi were gunned down by the police.

Nnorom stated that Daniel died instantly and his body was deposited at the Regina Caeli Hospital, Awka, while Patrick also in SS 2A with the late Daniel sustained serious injuries as a result of the bullet fired by the same policeman and at the intensive care unit of the First Foundation Hospital, Umunnachi, near Ogidi.

Police refuse to talk
The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) at Ogidi, Mr. Nse Akpan (CSP), who declined comment on the incident, simply told Saturday Sun in his office that he had transferred the case file to the police headquarters, Awka, for further investigations.
As at the time of filing this report, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Fidelis Agbo (DSP), told newsmen that the suspect had since been detained, while investigations are in progress, after which he would be charged to court for murder and misuse of firearms, contrary to Force Order 237 of the Police Act.

The incident, according to our source, occurred when the policeman opened fire on a Mitsubishi L.300 commercial bus with registration no. XC 337 ENU conveying the late Daniel and other passengers on the old Enugu/Onitsha road because the bus driver refused to part with N20 bribe allegedly demanded from him by the policeman at the checkpoint.

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