By Davies Iheamnachor – Port Harcourt
There was pandemonium, around GRA junction on Aba-Port Harcourt expressway, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, when men of State’s Taskforce Committee on Street Trading reportedly hacked a currency trader to death.
It was gathered the Rivers State Taskforce on Road Decongestion and Street Trading had visited the area during its operation and arrested the victim, whose name could not be ascertained at press time.
It was also gathered that while the task force men were dragging the victim, said to be hypertensive, that he collapsed and died.
Mr Chijioke, an eye witness, said: “The zone 7 team of the task force that has been troubling this area came here and killed a Hausa man. The man (victim) came from Slaughter area to this place to see his brother. While he was standing here, the taskforce guys came and held him. They searched him and collected the money in his pocket.
“They started beating and dragging him on the floor. The man collapsed and died in their hands and they all ran back into their vehicle and drove away. They didn’t know that the man was hypertensive.
Also, David Simon, who also witnessed the incident noted that the task force visited the area regularly to arrest people and also force them to pay N120,000.
“They came earlier and arrested an old man here. They took him and returned him later after beating him half dead. We are not hawking, we only stand here and ask people if they want to change money, but this taskforce attacks us every day.
“When they come here and arrest anybody, the person will bail himself with N120,000. And they keep coming here to arrest people. Right now they have over 7 people they arrested here in their custody.”
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the state police command, DSP. Nnamdi Omoni said he would speak on the development later.