CBN staff shot by police in Akwa Ibom cries out for help

One of the victims shot by a policeman on guard at the Akwa Ibom headquarters of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has sent out a passionate cry for help from the government and authorities of the state police command, as death stares him in the face on his hospital bed.

Ubong Solomon, who works at the bank located along Udo Udoma Avenue in the state capital, was reportedly shot several times on Sunday, February 5, 2012 following a misunderstanding with his colleague, a policeman detailed from the state police headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia to maintain security in the premises.

Mr. Solomon, who is also a security personnel with the bank, reportedly angered his police colleague after trying to take his photograph while he was bathing in the premises that fateful morning.

Though a superior police officer also attached to the bank reportedly intervened when the matter was brought before him, unknown to him his rebuke of Solomon and plea for his forgiveness did not go down well with the attacker.

No sooner had they left the reconciliation meeting with the officer than the policeman reportedly made for the armoury at the premises of the bank, forcing his way into where the ammunitions are kept.

The attacker reportedly shot and killed another colleague who guarded the armoury after the victim attempted to bar him from seizing one of the AK-47 assault rifles.

Armed with the rifle, the policeman was said to have charged his way to the back-quarters of the CBN office complex, where Mr. Solomon had escaped to, and on sighting him, opened fire at him several times through the bolted door of one the rooms where he took cover.

A senior police officer attached to Operation Thunder, the anti-crime outfit of the state government, who heard the gun shots, sought to intervene in the matter, managed to escape after he was shot at.

Another colleague also attached to the bank and other civilian staff who were in the premises at the time were not spared the stray bullets from the irate policeman’s riffle while attempting to scamper away from the scene.

It was gathered that reinforcement was mobilised from a police team on patrol in the area who surrounded the complex, before the culprit was eventually overpowered after a brief exchange of shots, which reportedly resulted in the death of the policeman.

Accounts on how the irate policeman died are not still clear. But, a member of the police patrol team said the culprit was overpowered after he was shot in the legs. But seeing that he had killed another of his colleagues opened fire on himself with his AK-47 assault rifle.

Meanwhile, Mr. Solomon, who was later  brought out from the room where he ran into with bullet wounds he received from the policeman’s gun shots, was rushed to the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) for treatment.

However, on arrival, the victim, who had about eight bullet wounds in different parts of his body, was left unattended by the medical personnel at the hospital.

The law requires a victim with bullet wounds to obtain a police report certifying the circumstance that resulted in the wound before any medical attention is given by any public or private hospital.

At the private clinic where Solomon was later transferred for treatment, only one of the eight bullets has so far been removed successfully, even as his condition continues to deteriorate.

But, his family’s concern for his life has since heightened as they reportedly received instructions later from the police authorities not to ever let any information about the incident filter to the public or be dealt with.

The family said they were further directed to blame the shooting on ‘an accidental discharge’ from the riffle of a drunken policeman.

The condition of the victim, who is in his late thirties, is said to be so bad that it would require a medical attention outside the country, if his life is to be saved for him to begin to function as a normal person again.

A medical report on the victim, who was preparing for his marriage next month, reveals that his kidney, liver and other vital internal organs were badly affected by the bullets.

Investigations show that the victim may have been abandoned by both the CBN management and the police authorities following complaints by the private hospital where he is currently being attended to that none of them have returned to find out how he was faring since the apex bank made the initial deposit of N60,000.

When contacted, the State Commissioner of police, Emmanuel Arase, politely played down on the incident, claiming that it is not a matter that should be blown out of proportion in the media.



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