Just moments before the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, announced the dissolution of the dreaded police formation, Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS or FSARS), the commissioner of police in Edo State, Johnson Kokumo, has denied allegations that policemen in his command killed two protesters in Ekpoma, Esan Central local government area of the state over the weekend.
A video went viral on Saturday on social media alleging the shooting to death of some unidentified young men during an #EndSARS protest in the town.
The police had been accused of violently dispersing the #EndSARS protesters in some states, including in Benin City, the Edo State capital, where protesting youth scampered to safety after a police vehicle ran into their midst in an attempt to disperse them.
PREMIUM TIMES also reported how the police violently dispersed protesters in Abuja on Saturday and Sunday, while a protester, Jimoh Isiaka, was killed in Ogbomoso, Oyo State.
But reacting to the claims of the killing through the state’s police public relations officer, Chidi Nwabuzor, Mr Kokumo said no protester was killed in the state.
In a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES, the PPRO said, “the command wishes to state categorically that on the said date, October 8, 2020, at noon, some suspected hoodlums, under the pretence of the ongoing #EndSARS protests, numbering one hundred, armed with dangerous and offensive weapons, laid siege on the police station at Ekpoma.
“They attacked every police personnel on duty, destroyed facilities within the station, and attempted to gain entrance into the main offices and armoury of the station, before they were tactically and professionally repelled by the police with tear gas.
“It is pertinent to clarify that no single live ammunition was fired at the protesters let alone injuring or killing two of them as alleged.
“After the riotous protest, which was equally perceived as a planned attack on the station, 19 of the suspected hired miscreants were arrested while efforts are in top gear for their prosecution accordingly.
“The command, therefore, wishes to advise the general public to regard the staged viral video and rumour of killing or attacking protesters in the state as baseless, unfounded, and the handiwork of mischief makers to heat the state.
“Emphatically, the command will leave no stone unturned to uphold the sanctity of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the rule of law, ethics and standard operating procedure of the Nigeria Police Force.
“In the light of the above, the commissioner of police. Edo State hereby appeals to the good people of the state to remain calm and support the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, in his stride to reform and overhaul the policing system in Nigeria.”
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