Posted by By Ndidi Onuora on
Chairman Apo Traders Association, Mr. Mortimo Patrick Ihejirika yesterday at the Judicial Commission of Inquiry alleged that the police vehicles and its station at Apo Mechanic village was burnt by the Police to cover up the killing of two persons shot during a peaceful demonstration to the station by the traders as well as triggered off the subsequent riot
ABUJAŚ Chairman Apo Traders Association, Mr. Mortimo Patrick Ihejirika yesterday at the Judicial Commission of Inquiry alleged that the police vehicles and its station at Apo Mechanic village was burnt by the Police to cover up the killing of two persons shot during a peaceful demonstration to the station by the traders as well as triggered off the subsequent riot.
He said actually, the traders intercepted the corpses of the six when the Environmental Protection Agency staff came to bury them at the Apo cemetery and moved on to protest but was dispersed by the Police at Apo who were shooting sporadically at them.
Mr. Ihejirika who said the Apo Police, which was later joined by the Police from Garki Division with the Divisional Police Officer, CSP Abdusalam Othman on the lead shot and killed two persons and wounded many others added that Ifeanyi one of the deceased had between 8 and 9 pm told one of his apprentices who called him on phone that he had a minor accident at Area 3 Garki, Abuja which involved a BMW car.
He also stated that the burnt Police station and the Police vehicles were torched by the Police to cover up its excessiveness as the traders abandoned the corpses they were carrying and ran for their lives when the shooting started.
The Chairman who lamented the ordeal they have been going through at the hands of the Police before the incidence told Commission that, "on the 8th of June at about 3.30pm when we started hearing rumour that some of our boys have been shot by the Police, we had a meeting and tried to confirm it by sending some people secretly to various Police stations which they later came back and confirmed".
He said based on that they started making preparation to visit the Police however, "on the 9th of June, at about 10.35am when we were about setting out to go and see the Commissioner of Police, we were told that the boys were about to be buried at the Apo cemetery so we gathered together, went and confirmed they were really the people we were looking for".
Continuing Mr. Ihejirika said, "it was when we found out that they were truly murdered and about to be buried secretly that we peacefully asked the environmental board people to leave the corpses and go because they are not robbers and cannot be buried like that. So we took the corpses to Apo Police station to complain but with the shooting from the Police, we have to dispersed".
"Nobody was touched, no car was damaged because we were on a peaceful demonstration. It was the Police that started rioting by shooting live bullets at people. Everybody ran away and left the corpses for them. However, after killing and wounding some people, they connived among themselves and burnt their properties".
Moreover he said, "the Apo Police station was built and furnished by the traders. We also maintain their vehicles for them", he said.
Also testifying, a brother to the Police Constable Anthony Idam who died a day before he was to appear before the Okiro panel, Mr. Ogbonna Ifeanyi Idam told the panel how his brother died as well as demanded protection for his life as the Police he alleged has been harassing and threatening him.
Mr. Idam who alleged that the brother died after an outing with the DPO, Abdusalam Othman and Ambush leader, ASP Nicholas Zakaria told the Commission that the brother who gave up ghost while praying in a church on the 19th of June had told him that he was among the team that killed five of the deceased who were brought alive to the station on the order of the DPO.
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