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Bayelsa Community Petitions AIG Baura Over Bayelsa Police Command’s Protection Of Its Men In Shooting Of Vigilante Group Members

13:24 Sep 26 2014 Obelle suburb of Yenagoa local Government area of Bayelsa State

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Residents of the Obelle suburb of Yenagoa local Government area of Bayelsa State have sent a petition to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) Zone 5, Mr. Musa Baura, to investigate the Bayelsa Command over its handling of the shooting last week of two members of a vigilante group by its men. Valentine Ntomchukwu

The incident happened when the policemen reportedly responded to a distress call over an armed robbery attack in progress in the area.

The Command first responded by ordering the arrest and detention of two of its men over the shooting of the vigilantes in an apparent mistaken identity and act of negligence.

The two victims: Emmanuel Gabot, 42 and Anderson Tunah, 28, were in pursuit of suspected armed robbers when a detachment of policemen shot them in the stomach. Both of them are currently in critical condition at the Federal Medical Centre.

The Obelle Community and the families of the victims allege that the Police Command, under Commissioner Valentine Ntomchukwu, is now trying to cover up the shooting of Gabot and Tunah, describing the development as worrisome and provocative.

In the petition to AIG Baura, signed by their counsel, Barr. S.B. Dorgu, the community alleged gross violation of the right of the injured persons.

"We are shocked that the Police, who had through the Yenagoa Division accepted blame and pleaded mistaken identity, have turned around to accuse our clients of armed robbery,” they said.

"Our clients, who have been receiving treatment as part of the plea by the State and Divisional Police Commands to forestall protest by the residents, have been subjected to inhuman treatments and chained to the hospital bed with handcuffs.”

The letter further stated that the police have also been mounting pressure on the victim of the armed robbery incident to change his statement and accuse the injured vigilante members of the attempted robbery.

"Independent investigations done by our chambers on behalf of our clients showed a deliberate attempt by the Yenagoa Divisional Command of the Police to cover up the incident, free his accused men and frame up the victims,” the complaint said.

“As part of this grand plot, the police have gone on air to misinform the public that the innocent victims are criminals without proper investigation.”

They therefore urged the Zonal Command to call for the case file and launch an independent investigation into the criminal acts of the policemen attached to the Divisional and State Commands.

Efforts by SaharaReporters to obtain a comment from AIG Baura on the petition have so far met with no success.
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