Posted by By Rotimi Ajayi on
THE Atiku Campaign Organisation, yesterday, released what it called eyewitness accounts of how Police Highway Patrolmen killed security operative attached to Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
ABUJA— THE Atiku Campaign Organisation, yesterday, released what it called eyewitness accounts of how Police Highway Patrolmen killed security operative attached to Vice President Atiku Abubakar. It claimed Mr. Victor Okonkwo was shot even after pleading espirit de corps and identifying himself with his Presidential Villa ID card.
After realising what they had done, the Policemen not only engaged one another in a bout of blames, they also wept profusely, lamenting that the incident might cause them the over 15 and so years some of them had put into the job, the campaign organisation said.
The police on their part said the five officers arrested on the order of the Inspector-General of Police are being detained at the State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID) in Keffi, Nasarawa State.
Shedding light on the circumstances in which Mr. Okonkwo was killed by some policemen at Uke near Keffi, Nasarawa State on Saturday, the eyewitness (name withheld) who was a co-traveller said Victor was actually killed at the Uke police post by a trigger-happy police constable who was the driver of the patrol vehicle.
His words: “Victor was a close friend of my younger brother. They were mates at the State Security Service Training School in Kaduna. But we became family friends. At present, my younger brother who is serving in Anambra State lives with the parents of Victor. Victor was always in our family house in Abuja, and of late was the one taking care of our mother who is ill.
“He asked me to follow him to Nasarawa Polytechnic where he was to write a paper in Accounting. He was studying for his Ordinary National Diploma in Business Administration. We were three on the trip and we had a smooth ride until we were stopped by a highway police patrol.
‘The policemen walked up to us and asked for the vehicle papers. Victor responded by saying espirit de corps. He introduced himself as an SSS operative who worked with the Vice-President. The Policeman then exchanged banters with him and said something like 'Oga, na you dey enjoy o,' they asked us to go.
As Victor was about to move, the policemen came back and said their Inspector wanted to see Victor. He came down from the car and walked up to the Inspector in the Patrol Jeep. The next thing was that the Inspector came down from the front passenger seat of the patrol vehicle and started complaining.
He was saying something like; ‘you boys think every policeman on the road is an ordinary man.’
"When the Inspector rebuffed our pleadings that Victor and his colleague would be late for their exam, Victor persuaded his colleague in the car who was going for the same exam to leave so that he (Victor) could sort himself out.
“Then, the Inspector said we should go to the next police station. As we drove towards Keffi, one of the policemen who had taken over our front passenger seat asked for the particulars of the vehicle Victor asked him to pick it in the dashboard safe and he did.
“At the police post in Uke, Karshi local government of Nasarawa State, we stopped and the Inspector directed his men to search the Toyota Carina II vehicle that we were travelling in. After the search in which nothing was found, the Inspector asked that the vehicle be impounded.
"At this point, Victor started pleading that he would be late for his examination and that the Inspector should please allow him to go.
“The Inspector refused and ordered his men to register the car in the station register. Victor handed the key of the car to him. As we made to leave the station, the Inspector again called us back and asked Victor where he said he was working.Victor brought out his wallet comprising four identity cards, that of the SSS, the Presidential Villa, his National ID card and his bank account ID card.
The officer called one of his men to identify the Villa ID card and that one said ‘Oga na true o the ID look like original’.
“All this while, Victor was calling his colleagues in the Villa but could not get through. Then the man said he would not release him until the people he had been calling came to identify him. He said Victor should be locked up. Victor said he could not be locked up because he worked for a security agency like the Inspector.
“Five policemen surrounded him and tried to force him into the station. He resisted and they were struggling with him but they could not overpower him. As they struggled, his service pistol fell and the policemen tried to pick it up. They struggled but he was able to pick it before any of them. They continued to struggle with him. Then, one of them named Akpama, dashed to the Patrol vehicle, grabbed a rifle, and shot into the air once. I was scared and I ran to the Inspector, pleading that he should intervene, but he was busy smoking cigarette. As I was pleading with him, I heard another shot; I looked back and saw Victor going down. I rushed to him and tried to hold him. One old man and a girl from the village joined me to attend to him.
“I rushed to the roadside to get a vehicle to convey him for medical attention. A Nissan car agreed to help us. As we drove into the station, a policeman ordered the driver to stop and he was taken away.
"It was when the DPO who said he was attracted by the gun shots came that he ordered that Victor be taken for medical attention. He was taken to the back of the Jeep and I held him, praying that he will survive the gun wound.
“As we drove to Keffi, the policemen started accusing one another for the gun shot. The Inspector took his gun and checked his bullets. The other policemen accused Akpama, the patrol van driver of firing the shot. They said he was always running away from gun. They kept saying that ‘the first time he handled gun, he had killed someone.’
“When we got to the medical centre in Keffi, the doctor examined Victor and left without saying a word. When the DPO went into the doctor’s office, I followed him and pleaded that the doctor should come and take care of Victor. He then confirmed that Victor was dead,” he said as he wept.
“At the police station, the policemen wept, asking what would happen to them after many years in service. They kept blaming each other for the killing,” the witness concluded.
The eye witness said he had made statement to the Police authorities, giving this same account.
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