By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
A middle-aged man, Mr. Victor Otu David, and native of Okopedi village in Okobo local government area of Akwa Ibom state shot in the leg by a serving Divisional Police Officer in the State has lamented that his family has passed through untold suffering since he was rendered incapacitated.
David, a father of two (girl and boy) told newsmen yesterday in Uyo that the incident happened on February, 17, 2018 in Okobo LGA.
The victim who is a passenger loader at Okobo motor park said he wants the Acting Inspector-General of Police, said the DPO identified as Joseph Udonwo shot him when he and his team stormed the vicinity over a robbery incident.
Narrating his ordeal, David who now walks with the support of crutches said “I was at the Okobo Motor Park that fateful Saturday, February 17, 2018, when suddenly I saw some police officers driving in, in their vehicles towards a health centre near the park.
“There was a robbery operation at the medical facility the night before and when the police officers arrived, all of us, including some passengers rushed to see what was happening. I even saw two police officers
that I knew before and my village Chief.
“When I arrived the place, the DPO ordered me to enter the car and when I entered they drove me to the police station at Okobo, where the PDP took me behind and started behaving funny.
“He fired on the ground and missed my leg narrowly. He fired again and missed but the third bullet hit my right leg; the bullet pierced through my flesh to the other side, that is why I am in this incapacitated condition today.
” I have been in pains for the past one year and two months. I live on charity now, as I cannot do anything on my own. Since he is on salary they should ensure that he renders part of that salary to me until am well and able to do something on my own”
The victim further narrated that when the DPO saw that he had injured shot him in error he had rushed him to a medical facility, at Iquita in Oron Local Government, but the hospital personnel realising that he had already lost so much blood referred him to the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH).
The Victim, David who admitted that the DPO had apologised to him over the incident, however, insisted that the DPO’s apology was not enough to assuage his pains, insisting that his family should be assisted.
“The DPO has apologised to me but his apology was a mere afterthought. He came begging me that it was a mistake and that he was under a spell of spiritual manipulations, but this is not true.
“So I am using this medium to call on the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Abubakar Adamu, the Commissioner of Police Akwa Ibom State, Zaki Ahmed, to bring the officer to book and ensure that he pays for the damage done. I want justice; my right leg has been condemned”, he lamented.
Wife of the victim, Mrs Agnes Otu David, appealed on public-spirited organisations come to the aid of the family, lamenting that they don’t have enough to fend for their children.
“Everything is difficult for us now. I was pregnant when this thing happened. While I put to bed in the hospital I was also taking care of my husband’s Condition. It has not been very easy for me taking care of the family alone”, she lamented.
However, Coordinator of Akwa Ibom Human Rights Community Barr Clifford Thomas condemned the DPO, for shooting an innocent citizen without provocation, justification or offence adding that the state Commissioner of Police should investigate the matter in order to ensure justice was done.
A letter by Thomas addressed to the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Ahmed Zaki dated 7, February 2019 and obtained by Vanguard reads in part, “We respectfully call on you sir to launch a full-scale investigation into this case with a view to getting to the bottom of this matter, and ensuring justice.
“It is our belief that the police officer acted ultra vires. He acted outside the expectation of the police rules and regulations. His actions fall within the purview of strict liability and he must be made to answer for his actions.
“After threatening his victim initially he made efforts to induce him with money. When he failed, the DPO is now using surrogates to harass him and intimidate him and his wife and children”.
Reacting to the matter yesterday, the state Commissioner of police, Mr. Ahmed Zaki, said the Nigeria Police Force has set a standard for such actions and assured that the command would investigate the matter.
“The Nigeria Police has set a standard on matters like this. We shall carry out a thorough investigation into the matter and bring to book whoever is guilty no matter his or her position in the force” he said.