COVID-19 LOCKDOWN: Soldiers on a rampage, kill one in Delta for defying stay at home order

…Itsekiri group demands for justice for the victim

By Ovasa Ogaga,

Rampaging soldiers reportedly enforcing the 14-days Delta State Government declared lockdown has allegedly shot dead a young man, Mr Joseph Pessu along the Ugbuwangue axis of the NPA Expressway, Warri, for defying government stay at home order.

Recall that the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in his directive exempted only those on essential duties from the stay at home order, warning that security operatives will be deployed across the state to enforce the directive.

Advocate gathered that troubled started at 9:40 am on Thursday when a team of security personnel flagged down the victim was riding his power bike for proper identification, but he refused to stop, leading to his chase.

Sources around the scene of the incident, said the victim, and a father of two, had the tyres of his motorbike riddled with gunshots, while an unidentified soldier was said to have aimed and shot him dead.

The lifeless body of the victim, drenched in blood, was reportedly taken to the Police Area Command, Warri as sympathizers flocked the scene.

The sources who pleaded for anonymity said: “an army officer just shot one man in Ugbuwangue. He was riding a power bike and they tried to stop him, but he refused. One of the soldiers shot him. He died instantly.”

Meanwhile, but for the timely intervention of the Area Commander, Nigerian Police, Warri, youths of the area were set to take to the streets in protest of the death.

State Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, confirmed the development, adding that the timely intervention of the Warri Area Commander, doused the brewing tension in the area.

“If not for the Area Commander Warri, some people would have protested. He quickly moved in and doused the brewing tension,” Inuwa said.

In a related development, crisis was averted on Wednesday, in Sapele, Delta State   when some overzealous officers of the Nigerian Army enforcing the stay at home order deflated tyres of defaulting cars and other utility vehicles, including that of a senior Police Officer whom they didn’t give the opportunity to identify himself.

The situation became chaotic as health workers working in one of the big private hospitals in Sapele, were also held back from getting to the hospital for over 45 minutes, and it took the intervention of the Senior Officer from the 19-Battalion in Koko to free them.

Advocate gathered that the soldiers were allegedly working on the instruction of the local government chairman who directed them to ensure total compliance.


ALSO READ: COVID 19 Lockdown: Delta Govt taskforce officials assault Delta NUJ Chairman, other


Itsekiri group demands for justice for the victim

Meanwhile, Itsekiri National Youths Council (INYC) has demanded for justice for the gruesome killing of one of his members, Mr Joseph Pessu by men of the Nigerian Army at Ada Val Arenyenka Street, Ugbuwangue earlier this morning in Warri.

The group in a press statement signed by its President Comrade Weyinmi Agbateyiniro, and the Secretary-General, Comrade Appearance Afejuku, condemned the murder of the victim calling on the relevant government agencies to fish out the kill and be prosecuted.

The statement read in part:

“The Council gathered that Late Mr Joseph Pessu, a law-abiding citizen and committed member of the INYC was racing through NPA Express Way to go pick his sick father to the hospital when men of the Nigerian Army flagged him down. Before he could apply his breaks, one of his tyres was deflated. He managed to negotiate into the nearby Ada Val Arenyenka Street. As he alighted from his car to query why he was shot at, one of the gun-wielding officers shot him at close range. Mr Joseph died on the spot.

“The INYC is using this medium to call on the Delta State Government and the Nigerian Army to fish out the recalcitrant and bloodthirsty Army officer who used the excuse of the COVID 19 Lockdown enforcement to murder a defenceless citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The INYC queries the deployment of men of the Nigerian Army to enforce a Lockdown against a virus that is yet to claim any life in Warri and Delta State but instead it is the bullet of the Nigerian Army Officer that has claimed a precious life.

“We demand justice for the late Joseph Pessu. We want the murderous officer to be apprehended and punished according to the dictates of the law. Otherwise, we may not be able to manage the events that will happen hereinafter especially in this period of lockdown.”



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