Chris Deinkoru, Yenagoa
A trigger-happy policeman has shot and injured a 17 year-old girl, and others at the ever-busy Etegwe Junction, popularly known as Tombia Roundabout, in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
One of the victims of the incident, Mrs. Ebimpre Onoja, while narrating her ordeal to journalists, said the policeman accused them of causing a traffic gridlock, an accusation she denied.
According to her the policeman shot her in the leg. “I heard a gunshot but the second gunshot was the one that pierced my leg. I didn’t know at first that something happened to me. So when they said that they(policemen) were shooting and that we should go back, I realized that I couldn’t go back. It was then I noticed that something had happened to me. It was a gunshot injury. It was then I confronted the policeman as I lay on the ground in pain. I told him he had shot my leg but he didn’t answer me.”
A husband to another victim of the shooting incident, Mr. Amods Onoja, and Mr. Kingdom, father of the 17 year-old, are demanding that the trigger-happy policeman be brought to justice. Apart from their demand for justice, they also want the Bayelsa State Government to pay compensation to the victims.
Mr. Onoja recounted they rushed his wife to the hospital. “I was somewhere when they called me that my wife had been shot. So I quickly rushed down and on getting there, I saw my wife but couldn’t look at her. She was shot between the ankle and the knee which affected the whole hand. We rushed her to a hospital where we had to make a huge deposit before they could begin to treat her.”
“All I want is for the government to pay for her medical bill and compensate us.
One of the doctors who attended to the victims Dr. Obiora Valentine, said the victims were responding to treatment.
He said, “We have commenced their treatment but shall carry more medical tests to ascertain the extent of possible damage to the bone. It is after the test that we would know whether there would be need for surgery.
“We have two victims with gunshot on their legs. The first victim has a bilateral avulsion injury on one leg but the other lady’s was quite extensive resulting in commuted fracture. So, the x-ray will tell us the bone involvement. Though her case is extensive meaning she would be immobile for a long time but at the end, she will hopefully walk again.
Meanwhile the Bayelsa State Police Command said it had identified the policemen involved in the shooting and attack on innocent citizens even as it disclosed they have been arrested.
In a statement made available to journalists in Yenagoa, State Commissioner of Police, Mike Okoli, assured the families of the victims that the policemen, already facing severe disciplinary measures which outcome would be made public, would face full consequences of their actions.
He commended the cooperation and concerns of citizens, especially those who made available the particulars of the vehicle, saying that the Police Command was already in possession of the details.