Policeman shot dead in Ekiti as youths protest inside police station over death of motorcyclist

A yet-to-be identified police officer in Ekiti State has been reportedly shot dead when youths were protesting within the premises of the Police Divisional Headquarters in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital over the death of a commercial motorcyclist.

Tribune Online gathered that the youths in their large number had besieged the police station chanting war songs over the killing of a motorcyclist by a driver.

The policeman was reportedly shot in the course of the melee that erupted while trying to scare away the violent protesters.

The youth were said to be expressing anger over the killing of one them by the driver and alleged police seizure of the corpse and a sum of N470,000 paid to the family of the deceased by the car owner.

The deceased’s family had allegedly demanded the money to enable them purchase coffin and transport the corpse to their country home for burial.

A source who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity said, “When the police failed to release the corpse and money allegedly collected from the driver to the family of the deceased person, the relatives stormed the police station in protest and demanded that the corpse and the money should be released.

“Sensing that the protest was becoming violent, the police fired teargas cannisters and gunshots to scare them. In the process, stray bullets hit a policeman in the leg, who later bled to death in the hospital.”

However, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, ASP Sunday Abutu, said the police are still investigating who actually fired the shot that killed the policeman.

Abutu alleged that the investigation became expedient on the premise that the protesters came to the police station with dangerous weapons and that the gunshots came from different directions.

The PPRO said, “It was true that the police allowed the driver and the deceased’s family to negotiate and the driver agreed to pay a sum of N440,000, which had been paid to the family of the deceased.

“But out of that money, it was agreed that a sum of N150,000 should be paid to the bike owner. It was this the protesters heard and stormed the police station in anger that our men were trying to cheat them. The owner of the motorcycle has not even been paid at all.

“As they were brandishing dangerous weapons and requesting that the detainee be released to them, the police fired teargas cannisters to scare them. But to the police’s surprise, they saw that gunshots were coming from different directions and one of our men was hit in the process and died.

“It was hasty and wrong to say that it was the police that fired the shot that killed one of them. We are still investigating.”

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