TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
The Divisional Police Officer in-charge of Mile 3, Nkpolu Police Station in Port Harcourt , Rivers State , Baridon Monsi and nine other policemen have been arrested and detained over the death of a wheelbarrow pusher identified as Abdullahi Idris.
Coordinator of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), South-South and South East, Alhaji Musa Saidu, who confirmed the incident to journalists in Port Harcourt, said the deceased hailed from Tambua in Gezawa Local Government Area of Kano State.
Saidu disclosed that before Idris’ untimely death, he was hired to carry a generator set by somebody, whose identify could not be ascertained as at press time.
According to the source, while the victim was conveying the generating set, he was accosted by a group of boys, who accused him of stealing the generator.
Our correspondent gathered that the deceased was manhandled before he was allegedly arrested and detained on the orders of the DPO in-charge of Mile 3 Nkpolu Police Station.
He said all pleas made by the deceased that the generator was not stolen, but was being conveyed for a client was rebuffed by the DPO.
He said when the relations of the deceased went to the station to secure his bail they were informed by the officers at the station that the deceased was no longer in their custody.
Saidu said the leaders of Hausa community in Rivers took the matter to the Commissioner of Police, whom, he said, went straight to the station to find out the true position of the case.
According to Saidu, before the commissioner could get to the station, the deceased has been shot dead and buried on the orders of the DPO.
He said: “Abdullahi Idris was only two months old in Port Harcourt. He was a wheelbarrow pusher before he met his untimely death. The deceased was hired by somebody to carry a generating set for him. He was accosted by a group of boys, who accused him of stealing the generator. They beat him up mercilessly before he was arrested.
“He was arrested by the men of Mile 3 Nkpolu Police Station. At the Station, the DPO ordered that the deceased should be detained. In the evening, the deceased’s relations went to the station to see him only to find his wheelbarrow in front of the police station.
“We called the DPO and he asked us to come back in the evening. When we came back, we could not see the DPO. We called his line severally and he did not pick his calls. When we inquired further, we were reliably informed that the DPO ordered his men to shoot the boy before the evening appointment he gave to us.
“It was at this point that we contacted the Commissioner of Police who went straight to the station to see things for himself. The DPO lied to the commissioner that the deceased was shot because he (the deceased) and his group wanted to shoot him. The DPO took the commissioner to where the deceased was buried and the commissioner ordered that the body should be exhumed. He also directed that both the DPO and other police officers involved in the death of the deceased should be arrested.”
He said that the DPO and nine other police officers involved in the extra-judicial killing were arrested and detained, and condemned the incident.
The State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the incident to journalists, adding that investigations were ongoing into the matter.