A police inspector on Tuesday shot and injured two drivers in Lokoja, Kogi state for allegedly refusing to offer bribes he demanded from them.
Our reporter learnt that the incident happened at the Ibro Motor Park situated opposite the Lokoja International Market.
The branch chairman of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) of the motor park, Ibrahim Yakubu, said trouble began when one of their drivers was stopped by a police team at a check point in Zango area on the Lokoja-Okene highway and asked to give them bribes.
The driver, according to him, told the policemen he had nothing to give them at that point and thus continued his journey towards Lokoja.
He however said that the policemen who were dissatisfied with the development, gave the driver a hot chase down to the Ibro Motor Park area where he (driver) stopped his vehicle and ran to the park to seek refuge.
Yakubu said that two of the policemen ran after him into the motor park, while the team leader, identified as Inspector Mohammed Usman stayed back inside the driver’s vehicle.
“We were just sitting at the park at about 11am when we started hearing sporadic gunshots. The next thing, we saw one of our fellow drivers ran to the union office.
“The next thing, we saw two policemen followed him down. Our union officials addressed them and then they left.
“The driver said he left his vehicle by the roadside and when we went there, we met a police inspector inside the vehicle.
“We told him that we are taking the vehicle to the park and he followed us inside. On getting to the union office at the motor park, we told him that we had already settled the matter with the other two policemen.
“Upon hearing that, he (Inspector Mohammed Usman) became furious and brought out his gun and first shot on the ground. As he continued his sporadic shooting, a bullet hit one of our drivers, Mohammed Attah on the leg while another driver, Emmanuel was hit on the stomach.
“Following the incident, the other policemen stationed outside drove into the park with their Hilux and quickly rescue the inspector and drove out.
“We then went to B Division Police Station to report the matter and the DPO followed us with the victims to the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja and from there we went to the state Police Command to report matter.
“The CP has ordered that the policemen involved should be detained until the return of victims in the hospital”, he said.
He urged the Kogi Police Command to ensure justice is done in the matter.
When contacted, spokesman of the state Police Command, William Aya, who confirmed the incident, 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 suspicion that he might be carrying incriminating items.
Aya said that the driver got to town near a motor park and abandoned his vehicle by the roadside and ran into the park.
He said one of the policemen pursued the driver inside and in the process, there was a misunderstanding between him and the transporters which led to accidental discharge.
Aya said the policemen involved have been detained while the matter is being investigated by the State CID.
He said appropriate sanctions would be taken against them if found culpable at the end of the investigation.