Less than 24 hours after commercial motorcyclists (popularly called Okada riders) and operators of commercial tricyclists in Warri and environs protested against increase in the costs of daily tickets by the Delta State government, a trigger-happy policeman in Udu Local Government Area on Thursday, allegedly shot dead a 35-year-old man at a road block over failure to part with N100.
An eyewitness account disclosed to The New Diplomat that the incident took place at a check point at Orhuwhorun in Udu Local Government Area where the Police mounted a road block collecting N100 from okada riders and tricyclist operators who ply the road daily for their daily income.
It was further learnt that the police who mounted the check point were actually checking drivers’ licences and other documents of the okada and keke riders and at the same time collecting N100 each from them. The eyewitness alleged that one of the Police officers at the road block had stopped the deceased (whose named was given as Theophillus) and demanded N100 from him. While protesting against parting with money, the officer allegedly fired a shot which killed the okada man instantaneously.
Angry mob was said to have set fire on a Toyota Sienna Patrol car belonging to the police which was parked at a corner near the check point.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Delta State Police Command, Mr. Bright Edafe confirmed the incident but however said that the shot that killed the deceased was fired by a local vigilante and not a police officer.
“I can just confirmed that the incident happened near an Army checking point. The information was just between a vigilante and a bike man. The bike man name was Cheku Theophillus. He had a confrontation with a vigilante and tempers flared and a shot was released and the Okada man died. The vigilante was beaten to coma and was rushed to the hospital”, he said.
Only on Wednesday, majority of the Okada riders and tricyclst (popularly known as keke napep) operators, protested along major streets in Effurun, Warri and Udu area of Delta over an alleged increase in the cost of tickets which is being issued to them by government agents.