An unnamed soldier has killed a motorist, identified as Joseph Pessu, in Warri, Delta State, on Thursday, for allegedly flouting the state government’s sit-at-home order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Eyewitnesses said the middle-aged motorist, who was cruising in a black Toyota Camry car without number plate, failed to stop at a military checkpoint on the NPA Road when the soldiers ordered him to halt.
It was gathered that rather than stop, Pessu allegedly accelerated the car in a bid to beat the security personnel.
But a soldier in the security team, who was apparently infuriated by the motorist’s effrontery, fired at the right rear tyre of the car in order to force the driver to a halt.
Pessu was alleged to have continued driving for several metres until he got to a location and abruptly parked the vehicle in the middle of the road.
He was said to have jumped out of the car to escape into the nearby bush, but a bullet from the gun of one of the soldiers pursuing him hit him.
His corpse was taken to the Police Area Command, from where it was transferred to the Warri Central Hospital’s morgue.
Meanwhile, two naval personnel, who were riding on a motorcycle in the area, were attacked by an angry mob few hours after the incident.
The angry mob, who had earlier made bonfires on the road to prevent vehicular movement, poured petrol on the motorcycle and set it ablaze to the astonishment of onlookers.
When contacted, the state Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, confirmed the killing.
“Yes, a motorist was killed, but I have not got the details of the incident,”
Commenting on the incident, the Warri Area Commander, ACP Mohammed Garba, stated that the soldier, who pulled the trigger and killed Pessu, had been identified and gave an assurance that justice would be served.
Garba also advised residents of the state to strictly obey the government’s stay-at-home directive.
He assured residents of Warri and its environs of adequate protection of their lives and property.
The state Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, said in a statement that the government was worried by Pessu’s killing.
He stated that the government had sent a delegation to the deceased’s family to condole with them over the loss of their son.
Aniagwu added, “The military authorities have been contacted to carry out an investigation into what led to the killing of Pessu.
“We, however, call on the people to remain calm and not to take the law into their own hands, while the government conducts an investigation into the killing.”