By Onome Oghenetega

Residents of Ughelli in Delta State on Friday protested the alleged shooting of a man by operatives of the Special Ant-Robbery Squad (SARS) over the victim’s alleged refusal to allow the operatives to search his phone.

The victim who was simply identified as Mr Patrick was said to have been shot on the leg by SARS operatives around Makolomi Street near Upper Agbarho area of Ughelli in Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state.

The incident occurred on Thursday morning.

The SARS operatives were alleged to have abandoned the victim to his pool of blood after the incident.

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The victim was later rushed to the Ughelli Central Hospital where he is currently receiving treatment. He is said to be stable.

A witness told our correspondent that, “The young man did not do anything. SARS operatives who were patrolling the area on Thursday stopped the victim and demanded that he must open his phone for them but he declined.

Scene of the protest at Ughelli on Friday

“The operatives started beating him until they collected the phone from him but he refused. He is a very humble boy in the area. When the incident was happening it was the women in the area that were bold enough to challenge them. When others were still flogging him, one of the operatives opened fire on his leg. They jumped into the vehicle and left.

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“It was other police officers from the Ughelli Police Station that came to rush to the man to hospital. He is there at the hospital as we speak”, the source told WARRI TODAY on Thursday.

However, irked by the development, hundreds of residents including women and youths from the area took the streets of Ughelli to protest against the activities of SARS operatives and the alleged shooting of the victim.

The protesters who set fire on tyres on major roads leading to the Ughelli Area Command, called for an end to SARS operatives, alleging that several persons have been innocently died from their brutality.

One of the protesters told WARRI TODAY lamented that policemen who were supposed to protect Nigerians have turned to their killers. He urged the police authorities in the state to ensure that justice is served for the victim.

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“We no longer move freely because of SARS in Ughelli. Once they see two or three youths walking together, the next thing you will see is SARS operatives searching their phones.

“We cannot continue like this. The police authorities should investigate the incident and stop their men from maltreating people”, the protester who simply identified as Igho stated.

Meanwhile, when contacted on the incident on Thursday, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Adeyinka Adeleke, denied the allegation that the victim was shot by SARS operatives.

He told this reporter that his men were already after those who reportedly shot the victim.


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