RESIDENTS of Direct Labour Agency, DLA area of Asaba, the Delta State capital, were yesterday, thrown into confusion as a middle-aged man was allegedly shot dead by police officers.
Insight Media gathered that the police officers were chasing the Mercedes Benz car with five occupants including the deceased, after suspecting the occupants to be criminals.
A source who spoke to newsmen said the officers aimed at the tyre of the vehicle to demobilise it, saying that the car veered off the road after its tyre was punctured as a result of the bullets.
The source who pleaded anonymity said the vehicle rammed into a fence, with the bricks collapsing on its bonnet and windscreen, adding that the vehicle screeched to a halt.
The source who spoke further said three of the occupants came out and took to their heels, while the other two came out to surrender to the police. The source alleged that the police shot one of them at close range before arresting the second one.
Saying that the deceased was not armed when he was reportedly shot dead, the source said nothing incriminating was found on the lifeless body of the deceased when searched.
In a swift reaction, the acting Public Relations Officer of Delta State Police Command, DSP Bright Edafe alleged that the occupants of the vehicle were suspects, adding that “they had just operated in another part of the town.
“We had intelligent reports that they had just finished an operation and were moving towards DLA road. So our men mounted surveillance, and when the officers saw the car, they flagged it down but they refused to stop.
“As such, our men chased them to the point where their vehicle hit the fence. They opened fire on the officers who responded, and in the process, three of them escaped while one was shot. One suspect was arrested while a locally-made gun was recovered”.
Meanwhile, a human rights activist, Mr Victor Ojei of Young Nigerian Rights Organization, described the incident as another case of extra-judicial killing, calling for proper investigation.
Ojei said: “This action must be investigated. This is an extrajudicial killing of a very young boy who has a bright future. We have the Administration of Criminal Justice Act to protect the criminals or the accused.
“We as Nigeria citizens have a right to life, nobody has the right to take anybody’s life. These policemen need to be investigated”.