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Anger in Bayelsa as policeman shoots three market women in gridlock

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A policeman on Wednesday in Bayelsa state, shot three women at the Tombia-Etegew roundabout, causing panic in the area.

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 the way for his patrol vehicle.

According to eye witnesses, the policeman and his colleagues, drove off immediately in their white Hilux with registration number NPF 8643C, without bothering to check on the injured victims.

It was gathered that the policemen in the patrol vehicle were not attached to the Bayelsa State Police Command but to a VIP, who is on a visit to the state.

The victims were said to have been rushed to Gloryland hospital, where they are receiving treatmemt.

Upon discovery, the Bayelsa Police Command, circulated the details of the vehicle particulars to all its units, which eventually led to the arrest of the patrol team.

Joy Robert, daughter to one of the victims, while confirming the incident, said, “I went to Tombia market to buy something with my foster mother. While we were walking down the Tombia bridge, I saw a policeman shouting at market women to clear the road for their vehicles to pass.

“Their van was packed along the Melford Okilo road by Tombia roundabout. Before we know what was to happen next, the policeman started pointing his gun at the women, ordering them to move out of the way. Because the women hesitated to move out of their way, he started shooting the ground.

“I thought I had been shot but I heard my mom screaming that she could not move her legs. It was at that point I realized that she had been shot on her leg. So some persons came to our rescue after the police van had left the scene, driving towards Amossoma but I was able to write the number of the van down.

“If they line the policemen up, I would recognise them. All I want is justice for my foster mother. As we speak, the hospital is already saying that if we don’t pay an advance fee, they would discharge my mother from the hospital.”

Meanwhile, Mike Okoli, the Police Commissioner of the state, has ordered a probe into the incident.

He also 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.

In a statement which was read by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Asinim Butswat, the police command assured Nigerians that victims will 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.’