Stray bullets fired by police officers attempting to stop a moving vehicle in the Edjeba axis of Warri South local government area of Delta State have reportedly hit two teenage girls.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the incident happened late Thursday around CAC Junction in the community, as the operatives made frantic efforts to stop the occupant of a Toyota Camry, suspected to be an internet fraudster.
It was gathered that one of the girls was hit on the waist, while the other was stuck on one of her hands.
The police officers, who drove in a Volkswagen Jetta car with ‘Police’ inscription on the bonnet, reportedly shot at the tyres of the vehicle within the residential area.
Video footage of the incident, which surfaced on social media, showed people gathered around one of the teenage girls, who was said to have been shot by the security officers.
She was then rushed to a hospital in a tricycle, while voices in the background were saying, “what is the police doing?”, “they were shooting at the tyres.”
Another clip showed several persons, including the said policemen, gathered on a street. Both vehicles; the police car, and the Camry. were spotted.
Sources alleged that a similar incident claimed the life of a young boy at the Praise Centre axis of Jakpa Road, Uvwie LGA in July. He was said to have been hit by a police van, while they were chasing a suspected internet scammer.
A police patrol team attached to Safe Delta Command in the state had on Wednesday arrested a music producer, Umukoro FearGod, alongside two artistes in Ughelli on suspicion of being a ‘yahoo boy’.
He was, however, released Thursday morning, after the Complaints Response Unit of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) intervened in the matter, with a promise to carry out further investigations.
Residents of Warri have taken to social media and other outlets to decry the recent actions of policemen against people, especially youths of the metropolis, calling for the intervention of the Delta State government.
Igho Tietie, a resident of Warri, who spoke with this reporter on Friday, called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to urgently look into the spate of “brutality” unleashed by his men on harmless citizens in the oil city.
“I condemn in strong terms the excesses and brutality of the men of the Nigerian police in Warri. The total disregard for due process and abuse of the fundamental human rights of the people in the city is unacceptable.
“I call on the IGP to urgently look into the activities of these men and take actions to correct them before more innocent lives are lost and the image of the NPF is further dented. These men need reorientation, retraining, and possible relocation to save everyone from all these horrors,” Tietie stressed.
The Delta State police command confirmed that only a girl sustained an injury in the incident, adding that the team flagged down the vehicle on “reasonable suspicion.”
A spokesperson for the command, Onome Onovwakpoyeya, said, “they were chasing a boy that they suspected and he refused to stop. They had to shoot at his tyres and it bounced back and hit a girl.
“The community people came out and as a result, the boy escaped with the vehicle. The girl was taken to a hospital by the police and is in stable condition. Nobody died.”