Posted by News Express | 25 November 2020 | 957 times
Despite the EndSARS protest and its aftermath, a Police patrol team on Wednesday opened fire on market women at Tombia market in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
A 17-year-old female periwinkle seller and three other women were left in the pool of their blood by the patrol team who were reportedly angry that the market was causing traffic gridlock that delayed the escort van from passing through the market.
An account by someone at the scene has it that the police team, six in number, came down from their vans and started shooting at the traders and pedestrians.
According to the witness, Joy Robert, who was with her foster mother, “I went to Tombia market to buy some things with my foster mother.
“While we were walking down the Tombia Bridge, I saw a policeman shouting at market women to clear the road for their vehicles to pass.
“Their van was parked along the Melford Okilo Road by Tombia Roundabout. Before we know what was to happen next, the policeman started pointing his gun at the women, ordering them to move out of the way.
“Because the women hesitated to move out of their way, he started shooting.
“I thought I had been shot but I heard my step mom screaming that she could not move her legs. It was at that point I realised that she had been shot on her leg.
“So some persons came to our rescue after the police van had left the scene, driving towards Amossoma but I was able to write the number of the van down.
“If they line up the policemen I could recognise them. All I want is justice for my foster mother. As we speak the hospital is already saying that if we don’t deposit money they would discharge my mother from the hospital.”
Mr. Onoja Majadu, a pastor in one of the Christ Embassy churches in Yenagoa, whose wife was a victim, said: “I was somewhere yesterday to congratulate a friend whose wife gave birth to a baby girl.
“So I called my wife to go to Tombia market to get food items to prepare food for the woman who was just delivered of a baby. Not quite some minutes later, I got a call that my wife was shot by police.
“At that point my temperature increased immediately but I managed to ask where she was and was told that she had been rushed to a nearby hospital. In fact when I saw my wife I couldn’t believe my eyes. She was badly brutalised.
“As we speak, the bone between her ankle and knee is badly damaged. The hospital is asking me to provide N100,000 before they would commence major treatment on her leg.”
Mr. Kingdom Baine, father of the 17-year-old periwinkle dealer, Alice Baine, said amidst tears: “I was in my house when her elder sister sent to Tombia market to sell periwinkle with her did not come in at the expected time we got worried.
“So about 7pm we began to get more disturbed that she had not arrived home from market so it was in the course of searching for her that we were told that she was shot on two legs by Police.
“I then wondered what she must have done wrong. Only for me to discover that she was going about her business when she was shot for no justifiable reason.
“The pathetic thing is that she is a secondary school student and with these injuries, I wonder if my daughter can still go back to school. So I want justice for my daughter so my mind would rest.”
Also Mrs. Ebinipre Majadu, one of the victims, said: “At bout 6pm I was in the market to get some food items. So when I got to where those women sell fish, I was buying lobster when I heard gunshots.
“I didn’t feel anything initially but when I tried to run, I realised that I couldn’t move one of my legs.
“It was at that point my daughter raised an alarm and bystanders came to my rescue and rushed me to the hospital.”
Bayelsa Commissioner of Police (CP) Mike Okoli, confirmed that the command was in receipt of report of the incident but said that the patrol team was not from Bayelsa Command.
“We have the particulars of the vehicle as Terropol, NPF 8643C, White Hilux. Be informed that the vehicle and the policemen involved in this unprovoked attack on innocent women have been apprehended and now in my custody.
“I want to assure you that they are already facing severe disciplinary measures the outcome of which you will be informed.
“I specially thank those who made the particulars of the vehicle readily available,” Okoli said.
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