The Delta State Police Command has denied its alleged involvement in the crushing to death of a nursing mother and her child at the PTI Junction in Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area of the state.
This is just as Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has ordered an immediate investigation into the Wednesday afternoon tragedy.
The media was awash on Wednesday that the deceased, who were in a tricycle, were crushed to death by the patrol van of policemen or security operatives attached to Operation Delta Hawk (OPDH) while chasing suspected internet frauds.
Another version of the incident has it that a tipper lorry laden with sand lost control and rammed into the tricycle killing the nursing mother, her daughter with other occupants escaping with injuries.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, in a statement, however, denied reports linking the police with the tragedy, describing the claims as false and unfounded.
Onovwakpoyeya also dismissed claims linking personnel of the Operation Delta Hawk and officers of the Ebrumede police patrol team to the death of the victims.
“The Delta State Police Command wishes to put the records straight in respect of the ugly incident that occurred today being 20/1/2021 at about 13:40hrs along PTI Express Way in Effurun, Uvwie LGA of Delta State where a multiple fatal motor/tricycle accident occurred.
“The accident involved a Mercedes tipper with reg. no. WWR 425 ZR loaded with granite, a Toyota Camry car with reg. no. AKD 403 FM and a tricycle reg. no yet unknown all moving in the same direction. A police vehicle was never involved. Two passengers conveyed by the tricycle, a woman and a baby girl, died on the spot and other passengers were injured.
“The Delta State Police command deeply sympathizes with the families of the deceased and the injured persons and equally frowns at the unjust treatment meted to Police officers who went to rescue the victims by members of the public, they went as far as burning the Police patrol vehicle that came for the rescue operation. The Perpetrators of this dastardly act will be brought to book.
“The Command also wishes to inform the general public that neither Operation Delta Hawk nor Ebrumede patrol vehicle was involved as speculated earlier,” she affirmed.
Meanwhile, in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Okowa, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, the governor charged the police authorities to commence an urgent and accelerated investigation into the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.
According to him, “the sad news of the death of a woman and her daughter in a rather bizarre circumstance in Warri on Wednesday is quite unfortunate and disheartening.”
Okowa, who condoled with the deceased’s family on the loss of their loved ones, assured that those involved in the incident would be exposed and dealt with.
He sued for calm urging residents, especially the people of Warri, to allow the government and law enforcement agencies do their job in unravelling the mystery behind the tragedy.
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