Gbenga Odogun, Lokoja
A bribe-seeking police inspector, identified as Mohammed Usman, has been arrested for allegedly shooting and injuring two drivers in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.
Our correspondent learnt that the incident happened at the Ibro Motor Park situated opposite the International Market, Lokoja.
The Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers at the park, Ibrahim Yakubu, said trouble began when one of the drivers was stopped by a police team at a checkpoint in the Zango area on the Lokoja-Okene highway and was asked to part with a bribe
According to the driver, he told the policemen that he had nothing to give them at that point and thus continued his journey towards Lokoja.
Dissatisfied with the driver’s action, the policemen reportedly gave his vehicle a chase down to the Ibro Motor Park area, where he stopped the vehicle and ran into the park for refuge.
Yakubu said, “We were sitting in the park around 11am when we heard gunshots. The next thing we saw was one of our fellow drivers running into the union office; two policemen followed him to the office and our union officials addressed them and they left.
“The driver said he left his vehicle by the roadside and when we went there, we met a police inspector, Mohammed Usman, inside the vehicle.
We told him that we were taking the vehicle to the park and he followed us in the bus. On getting to the union office, we told him that we had already settled the matter with his colleagues.
“Upon hearing that, he became furious and brought out his gun and first fired a shot into the ground. As he continued shooting, a bullet hit one of our drivers, Mohammed Attah, in the leg, while another driver, Emmanuel, was hit in the stomach.
Following the incident, the other policemen stationed outside drove into the park with their van and quickly rescued the inspector and drove off.
“We went to the ‘B’ Division Police Station to report the matter and the DPO followed us to take the victims to the Federal Medical Centre and from there, we went to the state Police Command headquarters to report the matter.
The Commissioner of Police has ordered that the policemen involved be detained until the victims are discharged from the hospital.”
Yakubu urged the Kogi State Police Command to ensure that justice was served in the matter.
When contacted, the spokesman for the Kogi State Police Command, William Aya, confirmed the incident and explained that the policemen, who were on stop and search operation, stopped the driver but he refused and as a result, they pursued him on the suspicion that he might be carrying incriminating items.
Aya said the driver got near the motor park and abandoned his vehicle by the roadside and ran into the park.
He stated that one of the policemen pursued the driver into the park and in the process, there was a misunderstanding between the cop and the transporters, which led to accidental discharges
Aya said the policemen involved had been detained, while the matter was being investigated by the State Criminal Investigation Department, adding that appropriate sanctions would be taken against the cops if they were found wanting at the end of the investigation.