A policeman from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Bayelsa State command has killed a four-year-old boy, Godgift Odoki, in the crossfire between the SARS team and a gang of cultists in the state.
The tragedy, which occurred on October 22, was also said to have claimed the life of another person in the gun duel at Ekeki area of the state capital, Yenegoa.
Reacting to the incident, the state government said such tragedy was becoming frequent, describing the killing as senseless and barbaric, while calling for a thorough investigation into the matter.
The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Jonathan Obuebite, who spoke for government and commiserated with the Odoki family, warned against sweeping the matter under the carpet, adding that the bereaved families must get justice.
Obuebite urged the state Commissioner of Police to read the Riot Act to his men to be more professional in their line of duty so as to avoid incessant killing of unarmed citizens.
He called for a summary dismissal of the offending policemen, while calling on the police hierarchy to ensure recruits into the force undergo mental, psychological and spiritual screening to curb the incidence of avoidable killings.
When contacted, the command said it condemned the killing of the boy and blamed it on unprofessional conduct.
The Police Public Relations Officer of the command, DSP Asinim Butswat, gave the name of the policeman that allegedly killed the boy as Dick Okoro.
He explained that the culprit had been arrested, adding that investigation into the incident had commenced.
He assured the family of the boy that justice would be done.