…There’ ll be a joint investigation by Army, Police — PPRO
By Perez Brisibe & Chancel Sunday
A soldier was reportedly killed, yesterday, in Bomadi town, headquarters of Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State, as some soldiers clashed with policemen over the implementation of the dusk to dawn curfew imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus, COVID-19, in the state.
It was also gathered that a policeman sustained gunshot injury during the incident, which occurred at about midnight at a merry spot close to a military unit along NDDC Road in Bomadi.
Giving details on what transpired, a senior police officer said the policemen, who are operatives of the Eagle Net Formation, while enforcing the dusk to dawn curfew in the area had accosted some individuals at a merry spot in the middle of the night in violation of the curfew and demanded to know the reason for their action, leading to an altercation.
The security source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “The police team unknowing that those at the spot were soldiers in company of some civilians had enquired to know why they were violating the order and drinking outside in the middle of the night.
“Though we are yet to ascertain if the soldiers identified themselves, angered by the action of the policemen, who insisted on dispersing those at the spot, the soldiers insisted that the policemen did not have the right to question those hanging out close to their unit.
“This led to an argument with one of the soldiers retrieving his rifle from the shelter nearby and shot one of the policemen identified as Sergeant Chukwudi Osuali in the stomach. Angered by the action of the soldier, a colleague of the shot policeman immediately opened fire on the soldier in retaliation and killed him on the spot.”
But an indigene, who resides close to the scene of the incident, who also pleaded anonymity, said: The incident occurred around 1 am yesterday when SARS police patrol van came to the residential hotel premises of JTF officers.
“The JTF officers were on mufti busy drinking in front of their premises when the police patrol van came, asking why they were outside at such a time.
“Trouble ensued when the police officers insisted on seeing their ID cards after the military officers identified themselves, but refused to show their ID cards.
“The military officers became infuriated when the police officers insisted on taking them to the station, leading to exchange of blows and a police officer shot one of the military officers and fled.”
There‘ll be a joint investigation by Army, Police —PPRO
However, there was tension in Bomadi and environs when the news of the soldier’s death filtered into town as shops and business centres around the scene of the incident closed for fear of impending chaos yesterday morning.
It was gathered that the Commander, Sector 1, Operation Delta Safe, Col. Habib Manu, immediately moved to the area to douse tension, as he assured that there would be no reprisal attack by the soldiers, noting that army high command would commence further investigations into the matter to ascertain the true position of what transpired.
Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, said a policeman was shot during the melee.
She said: “As it is now, it is too early to comment on the matter. More so, Delta State Commissioner of Police has met with the army head in the state to unravel the mystery behind the incident and there is going to be a joint investigation into the matter.”
Reacting to the incident, Pere of Kerebiri-Mein Kingdom, HRM Godspower Oporomo, said “though the incident is unfortunate, the prompt reaction and intervention of the JTF Commanding Officer into the matter is highly commendable. This is a sign that he and his officers are alive to their duties.”