By: Emmanuel Ikhenebome
Benin City – A trigger-happy police operative attached to Okhoro division in Edo state has shot a 15-years old girl identified as Opeyemi Suleman, while chasing a car carrying young men they suspected to be internet fraudsters, popularly called ‘yahoo boys’ around Okhoro junction area of Benin City, the state capital.
Investigations by The Daily Vendor Newspaper revealed that the operative in company of another officer had on Friday, 3rd December 2021 near a commercial tricycle ‘keke’ park in the area flagged down the car.
The yet to be identified trigger-happy operative then fired a shot into the air apparently to scare the occupants who refused to stop, before he released another bullet that went straight to hit the teenager at her mother’s shop opposite the ‘keke’park.
“On the 3rd of December on Friday in the morning when we come shop newly, my daughter sit down carry her sister for leg na im we hear say dem shoot gun; so as i say make i go look, na i hear another gun shot.
“As i look back, na my daughter the second one wen dem shoot go meet. The bullet injure her shoulder go meet her for neck, na she fall for ground begin vomit blood; even blood begin come out from her nose na we rush her go hospital”, the victim’s mother narrated in pigin English
The mother explained that the shooter wanted to flee the scene, but that he was apprehended by an onlooker who dragged him to go see the daughter he shot at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) where she has been admitted.
According to the petty trader, Okhoro Divisional Police Officer (DPO), CSP Mathew Kalu led other officers to UBTH that fateful day and took responsibility for the medical bills.
She however accused the police of being “in a hurry” to see that her daughter leave the hospital despite huge financial implications involve in going for medical check ups, say the police want to hands off after her daughter is discharged from the facility.
“Even dem be don discharge her last Friday, but we no gree because we want say make dem assure us say dem go take full responsibility for my daughter treatment till she don dey OK well well. Doctor say my daughter need to dey come for check up after dem discharge her and say we need to dey come with N40,000 because the camera alone to check her throat na N10,000 not to talk of drugs.
“Who want to dey pay the money?.. . We call the DPO, he say make we go meet who shoot my daughter to begin pay from where he stop, say him don spend money”, she lamented to our correspondent who was at UBTH on Tuesday to see the victim
When contacted in his office at Okhoro police station, CSP Kalu confirmed he visited the hospital and took responsibility for the bills, adding it is not the duty of police to ascertain if the victim was medically fit go home.
He maintained the medical doctor in charge of the case has since last Friday discharged the teenager, but that he was surprised to learn that her parents refused she go home to recover fully.
The Okhoro DPO who did not comment whether or not the police will be responsible for the victim’s regular medical check-up, explained that the operative who pulled the trigger that hit the teenager has since been locked up at the state headquarters.