Police Shoot Protesting Women In Delta, Injure 5

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Police personnel attached to the Ughelli Area Command on Monday allegedly shot at protesting women in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State with about five of the victims from the Oteri community currently in critical condition at the Central Hospital, Ughelli

Eyewitness accounts of the unfortunate incident accused the Police from the Ughelli Area Command of illegal arrest, molestation, and intimidation of the protesters who were only armed with leaves and clothing materials during the protest march.

One of the injured women, Miss Valentine Adomi, who spoke from her hospital bed, told reporters; “I was on my way to the market to buy materials when I saw my family people at the front of the Police station and I alighted from the motorcycle to inquire from them why they were there.

“Immediately, I heard sounds of gunshot and tear gas and I saw people running and I also ran back, I felt something hit my leg that made it hard for me to run.”

Further narrating her experience, the 24-year-old tailor said; “I heard people shouting that I had been shot in my right leg by the police. They rushed me to Central Hospital, Ughelli, after I lost much blood”.

Another eyewitness, Mrs. Vivian Aphiare, volunteered thus; “The number of police roadblocks from their division to Oteri is over five and for that reason, no tricycle or Okada would want to come towards the community.

“As if that is not enough, they would come into the community to arrest our people illegally and when you get to the station to inquire, they will ask you to bail your wards for between N150,000 and N200,000.

“We were protesting to the Palace to meet and complain to our royal father about the activities of the police but on getting to the front of the police station, the police shot tear gas at us and as if that was not enough, they opened fire on us without any iota of provocation.”

For Madam Aphiare, the Police have overstayed their welcome and the Community members want “them to leave the Oteri Road because we are tired of their excesses, intimidation, illegal arrest molestation of our children and husbands.”

On his part, the President General of the Oteri-Ughelli community, Erakpofoke Peter, while accusing the Police of highhandedness and abuse of their powers, said; “What happened today was a peaceful protest by the women to tell the world that they no longer need police in Oteri because of their illegal extortion.

“Their activities in the Oteri community are extremely inhuman and we want to beg the government that we are no longer interested in the police station, they should look for a new site to go to and leave our land.

“Our women no longer go to the market and when the new DPO was posted here, I told him about our challenges and he saw reasons with me and promised to do something about it. The women came out to protest against what the Police did in Oteri, they destroyed the young man’s property, while his television and so many things were carted away from the apartment.”

Erakpofoke further said; “The activities of the police have gone so bad that as from 9 p.m., you will never see a bike or Keke coming to Oteri because of their extortion, brutalisation, molestation, and illegal arrest and as a result, they could not go to market again and that is their grievances.”

According to information from the community, among those brutalized by the Police and currently hospitalised are Valentine Adomi, 24; Loveth Brown-Tate, 42, with an injury on her right eye, Mrs. Lucky Philip, 48, with an injury on her right hand; Edith Itive, 37; and Akaeze Joy, 22; and many others.

Meanwhile, the Police Command in Delta State have not issued any official statement on the incident with the State Police Public Relations Officer, Bright Edafe not readily available and yet to respond to messages and calls as of the time of filling the report.

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