Senator protests killing of constituent by police

Police on patrol
Police on patrol

A Senator has protested against the killing of her constituent by the police in Cross Rivers State.
Rose Oko, who represents Cross River North Senatorial District, accused officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, of killing her constituent, one Edward Alibishi, in Gakem community, Cross River State.

The senator made the allegation on Sunday in a tweet she sent out from her Twitter handle @rose__oko.

The senator posted on Twitter a photo of the victims’ corpse and said the incident happened on December 28.

She said Mr. Alibishi was killed during a fracas over the control of a revenue post in the community.

“A situation where operatives of law enforcement agencies are being used to terrorise individuals and communities over personal squabbles is in the very least regrettable, condemnable and against the tenets and aims of the establishment,” the senator said in her tweet.

The senator called on the inspector general of police to investigate the killing and bring the perpetrators to justice.

She took a swipe at SARS.

“SARS has become uncontrollable and should either be scrapped or better trained to eliminate rogue officers. The recklessness and indiscipline of these officers is growing. Must the nation endure more innocent deaths and acts of hooliganism before decisive action is taken?” Senator Oko said.

The police have, however, denied responsibility for the killing of Mr. Alibishi.

The police spokesperson in the state, Irene Ugbo, said the officials of SARS were attacked by the youth of Gakem community who she said tried to prevent the police from taking away a suspected criminal.

“What happened is that the police went for an arrest and succeeded in arresting a criminal. As we were taking him away, some of the youth of the community came out and blocked the road. They didn’t allow the police to pass. They started shooting at the police and the police fired back in self defence,” said Ms. Ugbo, an assistant superintendent of police.

“The person that died was not shot by the police; he died through a stray bullet during the exchange of fire between the hoodlums and the police.

“Where did the youth get their arms and ammunition from? We shouldn’t just draw conclusions on issues; we should ask questions. A policeman cannot pull out a gun and just shoot at anybody,” the police spokesperson said.

He added that the policemen were still able to take the suspect to Calabar, despite the alleged attack on them.

She said the SARS operation in the community had nothing to do with any fracas, “over a revenue post” as alleged by Senator Oko.

There has been a nationwide outrage of late in the country against the operations of SARS. Several Nigerians have embarked on street protests, demanding for the scrapping of the dreaded police squad.

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