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Six perish at police checkpoint

Posted by By JOE EFFIONG, Uyo on 2006/01/05 | Views: 498 |

Six perish at police checkpoint


Six persons cruising home to participate in the Christmas activities are now lying in the mortuary after their vehicle was violently swept off the road by a rampaging flour-loaded trailer, no thanks to mobile policemen who have now devised another system of blocking the road to extort money from motorists.

Six persons cruising home to participate in the Christmas activities are now lying in the mortuary after their vehicle was violently swept off the road by a rampaging flour-loaded trailer, no thanks to mobile policemen who have now devised another system of blocking the road to extort money from motorists.

Eye-witnesses told Daily Sun that the accident which occurred at about noon on Boxing Day at Ekim Junction in Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State was caused by a team of mobile policemen which blocked the road with tree trunks in order to slow down vehicular traffic so as to facilitate their extortionist exercise.

“It was while the bus driver was still arguing with them that the truck emerged from the corner and carried the bus off the road while the truck itself fell into the gully by the side of the road because its driver could not immediately apply brake or manipulate it through the barricade.

“Realising what their greed had caused, the mobile policemen took to their heels when the youths of the community came out to confront them”.

But the youths did not spare the shed that the policemen normally used at the Ekim Itam T-Junction which leads to Calabar, Ikot Ekpene and Uyo, as it was set ablaze.

Those present said among those who died in the mishap were a woman who ran a fish business at Itu bridge-head, her daughter and her housemaid, as well as a primary school pupil, who died leaving his books and shoes in the mangled bus. Ironically, the bus with registration number AP836 CAL, had “Mind Those Children,” inscribed on it.

“This was an avoidable accident. If those policemen had left that bus to go, the trailer wouldn’t have smashed it. We are even grateful to God because if the occupants of these huts had not gone on Christmas break, maybe the trailer would have killed up to 30 people”, a commercial motorcyclist operating at the junction told Daily Sun.

But the deputy commissioner of police in the state, Mr. Mike Ehidiamen refuted the allegation that the policemen who were extorting money from the motorists caused the accident. “It is just giving a dog a bad name to hang it. You and me know of the speed that drivers employ on our roads these days. I’m not trying to absolve the police. But accident is a normal occurrence. It did not warrant the area boys from that community causing riot or smashing the motorists windscreen.”

Ehidiamen, who is holding brief for the new commissioner of police yet to resume duties from Benue State Police Command, did not explain why it has become imperative for mobile policemen to use logs of wood to block the roads during this Christmas season. Observers say it is the mad desire to amass money through the extortion for the X-mas celebration; and they say that was what caused the accident where six persons’ lives were lost because of only N20.00.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.