Sunday, December 18, 2016 began like any other for 34-year-old engineer, Omayone Dottie,but by evening of that day, he was dead; allegedly shot by a mobile policeman said to be attached to the Warri Refinery and Petrochemicals Company in Warri, Delta State.
The policeman has not been identified.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that Dottie, who had one-year-old set of twins, was walking along the road in Ifiekporo community of Warri South Local Government Area, Delta State, when he was shot that evening by the policeman.
The police have said the cop shot his rifle in order to repel a group of vandals.
But it was learnt that Dottie’s case would not be the first time one of the mobile policemen stationed in the community would be killing a resident.
In fact, according to President of Itsekiri Native Youth Council, Weyinmi Agbateyiniro, Dottie was the eighth resident of the community that would be killed extra-judicially by mobile policemen working in the area.
The policeman reportedly fled the area after the shooting.
A source explained that the victim was taken to the NNPC Clinic in Warri, which later transferred him to the Central Hospital. He was confirmed dead while his body was subsequently deposited at the hospital’s mortuary.
The source said that Dottie was just at the wrong place at the wrong time as he and his wife had just come back from a child dedication that evening.
“His wife told us that she had even warned him not to walk towards pipeline area where there was an issue between residents and the policemen attached to WRPC that day,” he said.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that residents have been on edge since the incident, as they are apprehensive that the killing may prompt angry youths to unleash mayhem in the area.
The police spokesperson in the state, Mr. Andrew Aniamaka, a deputy superintendent of police, who confirmed the incident said the police authorities in the area were working to resolve the issue.
“There was a shooting of a man. On that Sunday, between 5pm and 6.30pm, the Federal Task Force, the anti-pipeline operatives, sighted some vandals attempting to tamper with some pipelines. The task force operatives on duty fired shots at them. It was one of the shots that hit the thigh and waist of one of the suspects.
“The others took flight. Immediately, they realised one of them fell, as expected of a policeman to save lives irrespective of the offence, he was rushed to the NNPC clinic where he was given first-aid treatment. When he was stabilised, he was taken to another hospital for further treatment, hoping that when he was better, he would be able to assist in investigations.
“Unfortunately, he died. The body was taken to the mortuary and eventually, we got his identity. An identity card found on him showed he worked with the waste managment board and not an engineer.
“The area commander of Warri is meeting with the stakeholders within the area and the company in which the policemen are serving to resolve the issue,” he said.
However, the INYC, which the deceased belonged to has given the police authorities a 48-hour ultimatum to bring the policeman responsible for the shooting to book.
The association has vowed to take action if the police refused to prosecute the shooter.
The group said in a statement, “As a body we will follow this case to a logical conclusion that justice is served on the trigger-happy mobile police man.Contrary to speculations, late Dottie was a responsible man who loved peace and was not involved in any illegal activities.”
The residents of Ifiekporo have also called on the police to withdraw their team of mobile policemen stationed in the community, saying they have been responsible for a number of extra-judicial killings in recent years.