From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Tension is building in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital over the controversial death of an armed robbery suspect in Ovom area of the state capital.
The death of the suspect on Thursday night ignited skirmishes between the youths of Ovom and the Nigerian Police which caused pandemonium in the area.
The youths accused the Police of extra –judicial killing of the suspect and have demanded arrest of those responsible for his death.
The Police have however explained that the deceased was an armed robbery suspect who died from wounds sustained while trying to escape arrest.
The Police spokesman, Mr Asinim Butswat in a statement said the deceased was a member of an armed robbery gang that specialise in robbing people of their phones at gun point.
According to him while trying to escape from the Police, he injured himself and was taken to the hospital where he was confirmed dead.
Butwats said the Commissioner of Police, Mile Okoli has directed an investigation and an autopsy on the deceased to know the circumstances surrounding his death.
“On 18 March, 2021 at about 1100hours, the following suspects; ThankGod Edwin, Emomotimi Ebiye and James Ebala were apprehended at Yenezue-gene, Yenagoa, by the Hausa community were the suspects came to dispose three android phones robbed on gunpoint. They were subsequently handed over to Police for investigation.
“Upon interrogation the suspects confessed to have robbed the phones from the owners at gun point. They led police operatives to their hideout at Ovom, Yenagoa, to recover the gun used in the operation. On sighting the Policemen, one of the suspects climbed the ceiling and jumped out in a bid to escape, he subsequently got injured on the neck. He was taken to Federal Medical Centre, where a Doctor certified him dead.
“A locally made pistol was recovered in the ceiling of the building. The corpse has been deposited at the mortuary for autopsy.
“The Commissioner of Police Bayelsa State Command, CP Mike Okoli appeals for calm and has ordered for full scale Investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of the suspect.”
However a statement from Governor Douye Diri which did not refer to the deceased being a robbery suspect ordered an investigation into the death vowing to “ensure perpetrators of the dastardly act are uncovered and brought to book.
“Human life is sacred. As a responsible government we would not shy away from our responsibility of protecting it. Anyone who takes another person’s life would be held accountable through the laws of the land,” he said.
Diri’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah who quoted the governor said he also sympathised with the family of the deceased as well as the community, urging them to be calm and maintain the peace while a thorough investigation is being carried out.