Paul Osuyi, Asaba
A female police officer attached to the Delta State Police Command was reportedly killed by a fellow officer during a protest by traders in Bonsaac area of Asaba, the state capital.
An eyewitness told Daily Sun that four police officers had been drafted from the Command’s ‘B’ Division to quell the protest against a chairman of petty traders in the area.
According to the witnesses, one of the officers went berserk with his gun and opened fire, with a bullet accidentally striking the female officer who died immediately.
Following the unfortunate death of the female cop, operatives swooped in on the area to effect the indiscriminate arrest of women whom they cramped into detention cells at the Command’s headquarters in Asaba.
No fewer than eleven petty traders were said to have been arrested, while several others fled the area to avoid the wrath of the operatives.
Further investigation revealed that three of the arrested petty traders have however been released.
The suspected killer cop, it was learnt, is now cooling his heels at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID).
Commissioner of Police in the state Mr Adeyinka Adeleke, who confirmed the death of his officer to Daily Sun on Monday morning, simply said the “case was under investigation with SCID.”
Meanwhile, the initial protest was as a result of a face-off between a self imposed chairman of landlords in the Bonsaac area and petty market women, whom the former reportedly sought to forcibly eject from their rented plot of land.
A source in the area alleged that the said self styled chairman of landlords, one Mr Bidi, “has been molesting market women for a very long time and wanted to forcefully drive them from a plot of land they rented and set up caravans where they paid the owner of the land about N2,000 per month as rent for each container.
“He brought a bulldozer and connived with the Divisional Police Officer in-charge of ‘B’ Division, who deployed four armed police officers to the premises of the plot to supervise the pulling down of the hapless women’s caravans.
“Having pulled down the source of their daily bread, which was neither obstructing vehicles nor water flow, the women demanded that the caravan at the landlord’s premises be pulled down too because he had informed them that the demolition was authorised by the Delta State Ministry of Environment.”
The source further told Daily Sun that as a result of the persistence of the women “the police officers who were working on a directive tried to use firearms to scare them away, but the bullet went off and hit his fellow police officer who died afterwards.”