By Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Tensions heightened in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, on Wednesday over the Tuesday night shooting of three women by an angry policeman during a snarl-up around at the Tombia- Etegew roundabout.
The victims, Mrs Ebinipiri Onojamadu, aged 46, Madufuro Blessing, aged 32, and Alice Azagbene, aged 17, were shot by the policeman who was trying to clear his patrol vehicle. He was said to have fired the shot and the bullet hit the three women injuring them gravely.
Eyewitness account said the policeman and his colleagues did not bother to stop as they made their way from the scene.
Investigations revealed that the policemen in the patrol vehicle were not attached to the Bayelsa State Police Command and it is believed that they were on the escort team of a VIP that came to the state.
Further probe indicated that the policemen were in a White Hilux with registration number NPF 8643C.
The women speaking from the hospital bed at the Gloryland hospital where they are responding to treatment said they did not know their offence that would make the policemen shot and injured them.
Findings indicated that the Bayelsa Police Command did not take the incident lightly as it circulated the details of the vehicle particulars to all its units which eventually led to the arrest of the patrol team.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr Mike Okoli, who was said to have been enraged at the incident, has ordered an immediate probe.
Okoli to demonstrate his seriousness has visited the victims at the hospital and has appealed for calm with the assurance that the police would ensure those found culpable are brought to book.
A press statement from the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Asinim Butswat, said members of the public should be assured that the women would get justice.
‘The authorities of the Bayelsa State Police Command have identified and taken into custody the patrol team allegedly responsible for the unprovoked attack on innocent women at the Tombia-Etegwe roundabout, Yenagoa.
‘The unfortunate incident occurred at the popular Tombia-Etegwe roundabout on 24 November 2020 at about 1945 hours, when the patrol team was stuck in traffic gridlock and one of the police officers in a bid to clear the gridlock accidentally fired a shot, the bullet ricocheted and injured three women.
‘The victims are Alice Azaghene, Mrs Ebinipiri J. Onojamadu and one Madufuro Blessing. All have been taken to the Glory land Hospital, Yenagoa where they are responding to treatment.
‘Commissioner of Police CP Mike Okoli condemned the shooting and called for calm from the citizens and has also visited the injured victims and assured them that the case will be thoroughly investigated and all indicted persons brought to justice.’