The Nigerian Bar Association, Benin, Edo State, has condemned the killing of a man, Moses Adamu, by an officer of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the Edo State Police Command.
The body, through its Police Duty Solicitors Scheme, in a press release signed by the Coordinator, Amechi Nwaozor; Programme Officer, Emmanuel Okorie; and member, Patrick Ofor, on Sunday, demanded the prosecution of the killer cop.
The statement read, “This incident occurred around 4.08pm on Friday when the late Moses Adamu just drove into Benin from Lagos to attend his sister’s wedding.
“The said sister, whose wedding was slated for Saturday, September 18, 2021, is a law book vendor at the High Court, Benin City. The deceased, before his death, was with his friends in a vehicle driving from his tailor’s shop to pick his clothes in preparation for his sister’s wedding when a vehicle with a tinted glass overtook them while a man with a pistol (not dressed in police uniform) alighted from the vehicle.
“The late Moses and his friends, not sure of their identities, tried to escape, thinking they were kidnappers.
“In the process, the occupants of the tinted glass vehicle opened fire on them unprovoked. They shot at the back tire of the vehicle (up to five times) and shot at the passenger’s front door, which bullets hit Mr Moses Adamu on his right thigh.
“Mr Moses Adamu’s friends made efforts to take him to the Edo Specialist Hospital, Benin City, where he was received at the emergency ward around 4.55pm for treatment, but at that time, he had lost much blood.
“Some of his friends volunteered to donate some pints of blood to help out, but unfortunately around 8.44pm, Mr Moses became unconscious; after a while, he gave up the ghost.”
The NBA said it investigated the incident and discovered that the policemen were attached to the; anti-kidnapping unit of the police command, adding that the cops did not report the shooting incident to their superiors.
The group recalled that during a visit to the police station, Adamu’s friends identified the cops that carried out the operation and reported the incident to their superiors, who visited the victim at the hospital before he passed on.
The NBA noted that the corpse was deposited the Stella Obasanjo Hospital morgue, Benin City, around 1.45am on Saturday, September 18, 2021.
The body urged the state police command, the Edo State Government, the National Human Rights Commission, and the National Assembly to ensure proper investigation of the case, adding that the soul of the victim was calling for justice.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Kontongs Bello, in a statement, said Adam was hit by a stray bullet while operatives were out to arrest a suspect, Ebuka Nwaechie, who was involved in the alleged murder of one Bright Orikose on December 24, 2020.
He said, “The command deeply regrets to inform the public that in the process of the arrest, a member of the police team fired a shot in a bid to restrain the fleeing suspect, which unfortunately hit one of the occupants of a moving vehicle identified as Moses Adam, and injured his thigh.
“The victim was rushed to the Edo Specialist Hospital, where he gave up the ghost. The member of the police team involved in the shooting has been identified and arrested. The erring officer will go through administrative trial that will determine is culpability.”