Four police officers from the anti-kidnapping unit of the Rivers State Police Command and one sergeant attached to a supermarket have been detained for shooting a 20-year-old Chibuike Daniel Dominic, aka Sleek, in Elelewo axis of Obi-Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
Sleek, a musician, was allegedly shot dead by police operatives on Saturday, sparking a wave of protests two days after by angry youths, who demanded justice for the slain musician.
Sources narrated that the deceased and his friend, simply identified as Reuben, were waiting outside a hotel for a car to convey them to a destination when policemen confronted them.
The source said: “They were unarmed, there was nothing incriminating about them, but out of sheer fear of being arrested, the duo took to their heels. Following a chase that ensued, a riot policeman at De Topic Supermarket shot the musician.”
Another source told The Guardian that the armed officers, who were on a patrol, sighted the victim and two of his friends walking down the street, beckoned on them to come, but the boys, having seen that the men were with guns, ran away.
“While fleeing, the officers shouted ‘thief oh, thief oh’ and on hearing that, a police sergeant attached to a supermarket within the area, came out, chased and shot Dominic. He died before he could be taken to the hospital.”
Governor Nyesom Wike has condemned the killing and called for the reformation or outright dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Reacting to the sad development, Wike, on his official twitter handle, @NyesomWike, yesterday said the brutal killing by SARS operatives in Port Harcourt is unacceptable.
“We have and will continue to clamour for reformation or outright dissolution of SARS because they have become a menace to the society,” the governor stated.
Spokesman for the state police command, Nnamdi Omoni, who confirmed the killing, said the officers had been moved to the state CID for further investigation.
He said: “On September 19, about 2:30p.m., the leader of the Anti-Kidnapping unit on patrol along Elelenwo took one Daniel Ikeaguchi with Sgt Isaiah Ben, attached to 35 PMF Jigawa but on guard duty at an estate in Elelenwo, who allegedly shot the deceased, took the boy to the Elelenwo police station.
“On the receipt of the report, the DPO, CSP Chima Nnaji, immediately ordered that the boy, who was bleeding, be taken to the hospital, but he eventually died and was deposited at the UPTH mortuary.
“The DPO, after his preliminary investigation, transferred the sergeant and the four policemen from Anti-Kidnapping to the state CID for further investigation.”
But a sister to the diseased, Mercy Dominic, expressed shock that since the death of Chibuike, the police had not contacted them. She lamented that they were denied access and locked out from the Elelenwo Police Station when they went to inquire about the death of their brother.
She said: “We were blocked and denied access to the police station. We went there to make inquiries after hearing of my brother’s death, but they refused us entrance. While roaming in front of the gate, I saw an officer in a police van where the other two of my late brother’s friends were kept and I asked, where is my brother. The officer heartlessly told me to go to University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital mortuary, saying that was where they dumped his body.”
She described the incident as heartbreaking, adding his aged father had seriously been affected following the sad news.
“The way they were parading with his body bleeding all over, instead of taking him to the hospital is inhuman. I want them to face the law. We want justice.” She, therefore, called for thorough investigation into the incident and prosecution of any officer found culpable.