Asaba – A police officer attached to the Delta State Police Command has reportedly killed a female colleague during a protest by some traders in Bonsaac area of Asaba, the state capital.
The officer was reported to have gone berserk and opened fire, with the bullet accidentally hitting his female colleague who died immediately.
The suspected killer cop, it was learnt, is now cooling his heels at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID).
An eyewitness told INDEPENDENT that the police officers, four in number, were drafted from the ‘B’ Division to quell the protest against a self-imposed chairman of petty traders in the area.
According to the eyewitness, following the unfortunate death of the female cop, operatives swooped on the area to effect the indiscriminate arrest of women whom they cramped into a detention cell at the command’s headquarters in Asaba.
No fewer than 20 petty traders were said to have been arrested while several others fled the area to avoid the wrath of the operatives.
The investigation further revealed however that some of the arrested petty traders have been released as at the time of filing this report on Monday.
Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Adeyinka Adeleke, who confirmed with the death of his officer on Monday morning, simply said the “case was under investigation with SCID.”
Meanwhile, the initial protest was as a result of a face-off between a self-imposed chairman of landlords in Bonsaac area and petty market women whom the former sought to forcefully eject from their rented plot of land.
A source in the area alleged that said self-styled chairman of landlords, one Mr Bidi “has been molesting market women for a very long time and wanted to forcefully drive them from a plot of land they rented and set up caravans where they paid the owner of the land about N2,000 per month as rent for each container.
“He brought a bulldozer and connived with the Divisional Police Officer, DPO in-charge of ‘B’ Division who deployed four armed police officers to the premises of the plot to supervise the pulling down of the hapless women’s caravans.
“Having pulled down the source of their daily bread, which was neither obstructing vehicles nor water flow, the women demanded that the caravan at the landlord’s premises be pulled down too because he had informed them that the demolition was authorised by the Delta State Ministry of Environment.”
The source further revealed that following the persistence of the women for thorough demolition including that of the chairman’s, “the police officers who were working on a directive, tried to use firearms to scare them away but the bullet went off and hit his fellow police officer who died afterwards.”