By Dayo Johnson, Akure
Ondo state police command yesterday apologised over the killing of a truck driver at check point over N50 bribe by a trigger happy policeman in the command vowing that the culprit will be made to face the full Wrath of the law.
A statement signed by the lmage maker of the command Femi Joseph condemned the killing and described it as barbaric and gruesome.
The yet to be identified truck driver reportedly had a shouting match with the policemen stationed at Uso, in Owo over bribe after he presented a complete vehicle documents.
Angered that the driver had the effrontery not to part with the bride, one of the policemen shot him in the head while others fled to the bush as the deceased colleagues went on rampage.
However, Joseph said “we apologise profusely for any inconvenience or embarrassment this isolated action must have caused anyone.
This is coming as the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Owo branch described the murder as barbaric, gruesome, unwarranted and condemnable.
“It was an affront on the constitutional rights of citizens to life and freedom of movement. It was a most despicable act of bestiality.
Meanwhile, the police command spokesperson, Joseph said ” the Ondo State Police Command regrets the unfortunate incident leading to the death of a truck driver whose identity is not yet known
“The deceased was allegedly shot and killed by one of our Men who was on duty with others at about 1 p.m.at a point in USO via Owo.
“The Command Condemns this barbaric and gruesome murder in its entirety.
“While we Commiserate with the family of the deceased, we want to say that the action of this erring officer does not represent what the Nigerian police or the Command stands for.
“The Nigerian Police and by extension the Ondo State Command respects the sanctity of life and dignity of human person as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution .
“Consequently, the Commissioner of Police Ondo State has ordered a thorough investigation into the incident while the defaulting officer will be made to face the full Wrath of the law.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Owo branch said it “has always been concerned about the reckless, arbitrary and naked display of brutality by the policemen on Uso road blocks.
The chairman, Tajudeen Olutope Ahmed noted that” In some cases members of our branch have had cause to intervene whenever policemen on Uso road blocks are out to harass, assault and dehumanise commuters.
” The killing of the innocent truck driver by the lawless, reckless and tactless police officer was the crescendo of the unsavoury acts of the policemen mounting road blocks at Uso.
Ahmed said the command should
” ensure that only police officers with confirmed stable psychological and mental status are allowed to man police checkpoints.
“The attitude and behaviour of most of the police officers at police checkpoints calls for serious concern, worry and attention.
” The branch hereby expresses her willingness and readiness to assist in the due and diligent prosecution of the culprit, on pro bono publico basis.
“NBA Owo branch frowns at the lackadaisical attitude of the police authorities to the rampant habit of bribe collection by police officers at police checkpoints.
“This act of corruption and ineptitude was the precursor of the horrible and heinous police killing of innocent truck driver at Uso.
“Even when the police checkpoints are supposed to fortify the security of the citizens, the checkpoints have been turned into corruption centres and unsecured posts consequent upon bribe collection.
It noted that “As an advocate of the rule of law, NBA Owo branch declares the killing of the truck driver at Uso by the errant police officer as extra- judicial, uncivilized, illegal, and unlawful.