By Eseoghene Emuke
A 42-year-old woman, Mrs Grace Dagbo has been reportedly shot dead by unknown gunmen along the Igbiki Avenue area of Ovwian in Udu Local Government Area of Delta State after a brief altercation with some policemen from the Aladja/Ovwian Police Station.
The incident which occurred last Saturday at about 8pm, however, has sparked public outrage including on social media.
However, the State Police Command has arrested three policemen including a senior officer over their alleged role in the killing of the woman, a mother of four.
Findings by WARRI TODAY revealed that the deceased was reportedly flagged down by a team of policemen on stop-and-search duty at the Igbiki Junction area of Ovwian where she was thoroughly searched for her vehicle particularly.
But trouble ensued when the mother of four could not allegedly provide her Toyota Sienna Space Bus (Reg. No AGL 822 EY) tinted glass permit.
The vehicle was said to have been impounded by the police team after she claimed the tinted glass permit paper was at home and pleaded with the officers on duty to let her go as she was running late to pick her decoration materials from a venue.
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Sources told our correspondent that the police team led by an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) had reportedly ordered the deceased and her 11-year-old daughter, Dabo Oghenenyerhovwo, to leave the vehicle for them.
The policemen, however, impounded the vehicle and drove the vehicle to the station and left the deceased and her 11-year-old at the spot.
In their bid to leave Igbiki Junction which is a notorious spot for armed robbery, Mrs Dagbo and her daughter flagged down and boarded a tricycle heading towards the direction the policemen was driving to her vehicle to.
She was alleged to have told the tricycle rider to pursue the policemen.
Narrating the incident, a member of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights(CDHR), Mr Isreal Joe, in a Facebook post claimed that the police orchestrated the killing of the deceased and urged the Nigeria Police Force to investigate the incident.
According to Joe, “The police in Ovwian stopped her, and demanded for her tinted permit of a Sienna 1999 model vehicle. She told them she was a decorator and rushing to pack up her materials and since all the other papers were available she wouldn’t be able to lay hands on the tinted (factory fitted) permit at that moment.
“According to an eye witness, her 9 years old daughter who narrated the ordeal, the police forcefully dragged her down from her car, entered her vehicle, drove her car away living the woman and the daugther vulnerable at their check point. However, the woman succeeded in taking her bag which the police suspected had some good amount of money.
Immediately, a tricycle came, picked up the woman and her daughter, after like 100 meters from the police checkpoint, they dragged her bag with her phone inside the bag, shot her on her rib and left. Her helpless daughter was also pushed out of the tricycle (keke).
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“This act of the Ovwian Police violates professionalism if they are not even the ones that orchestrated her death. The police have too many questions to answer to this regards and we hope the Delta State Commissioner of Police CP Adeleke Adeyinka will order a thorough investigation into this matter as concerns Ovwian Aladja division where they uncontrollably take laws into their hands to execute evils and lawlessness.”
A senior police officer attached to Burutu Area Command, while confirming the killing of the 42-year-old woman, said the woman was killed by robbers in a tricycle she was boarding to the station.
The officer claimed that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Aladja/Ovwian Police, Mr Eyoh Anniete, arrested the police officers who impounded the deceased when the husband of the late decorator reported the incident at the station.
“From investigation so far, the woman was killed by armed robbers. However, where our men became culpable was the reason to leave the woman and daughter behind at that dangerous spot. Our Oga (DPO Anniete) who is just six days old in the station had warned against unprofessional conduct the previous day.
“Immediately the husband of the deceased reported the matter at the station, the DPO immediately arrested the police team who impounded the woman’s vehicle. So, the issue of extortion and that the policemen were the one that killed the woman was not true.”
Meanwhile, the state police command has also confirmed the killing of the Mrs Dagbo by suspected armed robbers.
In a statement signed by the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Onome Onovwakpoyeya, however, did not confirmed the arrest of the three officers, but condemned the professional misconduct of the police team on duty.
Onovwakpoyeya said, “On the 20th of July, 2019 at about 1920hrs, while one Mrs. Ughochukwu Grace Dabo was driving home in the company of her 11yr old daughter Dabo Oghenenyerhovwo Evon in her Toyota Sienna Space Bus Reg. No AGL 822 EY, she was intercepted by Police Patrol team at Igbiki junction, Ovwian-Aladja and when she could not produce the vehicle documents on demand by the Police, the vehicle was impounded and taken to the Police station for further investigation, while the woman was left at the scene having refused to go along with the Policemen to the station.
“However, on the same night, at about 2105hrs, her husband one Mr. Benjamin Dabo later reported to the DPO at the station that, while the woman was on her way home with her daughter in a commercial tri-cycle they boarded, she was attacked, robbed and shot dead by a three (3) man Armed Robbery gang operating with the same tricycle unknowingly boarded by her, but her 11yr old daughter survived the attack and escaped unhurt. She was able to narrate how her mother was killed by men of the underworld who are yet to be arrested.
“The Commissioner of Police regrets the unfortunate incident leading to the death of the deceased and commiserates with her family members. He therefore assures members of the Public, and in particular the immediate family of the deceased, of the commitment of the Police to thoroughly investigate the role played by the Police in the incident and to ensure the arrest of the fleeing Armed Robbers with a view to ensuring that full justice is done without fear or favour.”
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