Police denies shooting at protesting women in Delta

The Delta State Police Command has denied that its officers shot at protesting women in Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state.
Spokesperson of the command, SP Bright Edafe, made the clarification in a statement on Monday night, May 6, 2024, following reports that the police shot at women from Oteri-Ughelli who were protesting against alleged incessant harassment and extortion by policemen in the community.
According to reports, a middle-aged woman was shot while many others sustained varied degrees of injury when operatives resorted to forceful dispersal of the group of protesting women.
Reports further said the women protesters had carried placards with assorted inscriptions such as “Oteri-Ughell is a peaceful community with law-abiding citizens, stop making life difficult for us”; “Police are making life difficult for our poor and innocent citizens”; etc.
However, security operatives reportedly used heavy teargas against the unarmed women and shot one middle-aged woman in her left leg while others were beaten to stupor.
Two leaders of the protesting women, Harvest Ugbhwiako and Vivian Aphiare, who spoke to journalists, alleged that the police unlawfully arrested and detained their children and wards who were on errands. She said they were made to part with between N150,000 and N200,000 to secure their release on bail.
However, Edafe, described the reports as a “false narratives”, saying said officers from the command justifiably dispersed the protesting women with teargas.
The PPRO alleged that that the women forcefully stormed the Area command premises and beat up a policeman in the process.
“The Command is aware of an allegedly sponsored protest in Ughelli North LGA today 6/5/2024 and wishes to debunk the false narratives currently being circulated on some sections of the media that Policemen shot at peaceful protesters,” the statement read.
“The Command wishes to state that nobody was shot during the protest, however, the use of tear gas was rightly used to disperse the protesters. For the avoidance of doubt and to put the record straight, the Command wishes to state as follows;
“On 6th May 2024, at about 1130 hours, some members of Oteri community, Ughelli approached the Area Commander Ughelli and requested that Policemen be withdrawn from the express road.
“The Area commander declined and informed them that the deployment was in compliance with the directive of the Commissioner of Police CP Abaniwonda Olufemi on the need to ensure police presence in that area to prevent kidnapping and other crimes.
“Surprisingly, women from the community in their numbers forcefully stormed the Area command premises in a violent protest, beating up a policeman in the process, and they were dispersed with the use of tear gas. The report making rounds that Policemen shot at peaceful protesters is false and should be completely disregarded.
“The Commissioner of Police Delta State CP Abaniwonda Olufemi sues for calm and reiterates that the Command will not succumb to pressure from any quarters because the adequate protection of life and property is the constitutional mandate of the Police and remains the priority of the Command.”

Leave a Reply