Civil Liberties Organisation, others write NASS, protest police killing of 34-year-old man in Bayelsa


– Civil society groups in Bayelsa state have protested the killing of a 34-year-old man, Grant Orugheye, by a police officer in the state

– The groups have written to the Federal House of Representatives calling for proper investigation of the case

– The groups also insisted that police should be well trained and given psychiatric test before giving them fire arms to handle

Scores of civil society groups in Bayelsa state led by the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) on Thursday, June 1, sent a protest letter to the Federal House of Representatives over the alleged shoddy handling of the investigation into the killing of a 34-year-old man, Mr. Grant Oruyeghe, by trigger happy mobile policeman along the Agudama Epie area of Yenagoa local government council of the state.

The deceased, Grant Oruyeghe, before his alleged murder, was a staff with BGP/CNPC International Nigeria Limited, a company that is currently carrying out seismic operations at Igbogene/Okolobiri axis of the state and is married with a kid.

The civil society groups, led by the state chairman of the CLO, Chief Nengi James, alleged in the petition dated May 30th and addressed to the speaker of the house of representatives through the member representing Yenagoa/Kolokuma/Opokuma federal constituency, stated that the deceased was shot at close range by the policeman on the pretense that he was a suspected member of cult group.

Civil Liberties Organisation, others write NASS, protest police killing of 34-year-old man in Bayelsa

Civil Liberties Organisation, others write NASS, protest police killing of 34-year-old man in Bayelsa

After an independent investigation into the incident and the interaction with family of the victim and eyewitness at the scene of the killing, reports CLO saying: “It was concluded that the victim was murdered in cold blood by a policeman.

“One of the eyewitnesses confirmed that after shooting the victim in cold blood, the policemen walk away after discovering it was a wrong killing and left the dying corpse of the decease to bleed.”

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The petition by the CLO noted that though the incident occurred on the 13th of May, 2017 at about 9.30pm, the alleged shoddy handling of investigation by the state police authority is unsatisfactory and demand that the police officers, if found culpable after due investigation should be arranged in a competent court of law under section 247(1) of the criminal code law of Bayelsa state.

The petition read in part: “The police should, as a matter of fact, compensate the wife and take care of the children school affairs. Also the Bayelsa state government should come to the aid of the wife, and support in taking care of the children schooling.

“The Nigeria police should step up better strategies in tackling crime and should not do things that would lead to further erosion of public confidence as regards the saying that the police is your friend.

“ Efforts should be made at training and retraining and also, the rank and file of the Nigeria police force should undergo psychological and psychiatric evaluation or test as sine qua non for fire arms handling in the force.

“This is to ensure that innocent members of the society are not only respected but protected from arms at all time. The police should encourage the setting up of vigilante groups in all the communities within Yenagoa and environments, especially from Igbogene to Ovom, Azikoro.

“Besides prosecuting those found guilty of extra-judicial killings; the police authorities should be made to pay heavily for any such crime committed by the police and other security agencies too.

“Bereaved families deserve compensation for such unlawful acts. Members of the public should be willing at all times to be their brother’s keeper by rendering assistance to victims, rather than running away from the victims.

“Besides the need to make all public health facilities functional, the state government should take actions that would boost health workers in public health facilities.

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“If the Niger Delta teaching hospital, Okolobiri had ready equipment, Grant wouldn’t have died. Whether private or public, hospitals or clinics should desist from the habit of demanding money before attending to emergencies. It is shocking that Grant’s death has an indictment of health practitioners in Yenagoa.

“Apart from identifying and prosecuting the actual police man who shot and killed Grant without any justification; all members of the patrol team should be disciplined for leaving the victim on the ground in his pool of blood and walked away; for gross negligence and being culpable in the death”.

Contacted on the development, the spokesman of the Bayelsa state police command, Astim Butswat, confirmed that though the killer policeman of the rank of a sergeant and attached to mobile police unit 30 has been arrested and facing orderly room trial.

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