Family petitions IG over Rivers police killing of painter

Samson Folarin

The family of Mr. Nse Akpan, who was allegedly killed by a police team escorting a bullion van to a bank in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has called for the arrest and prosecution of the killer cop.

The family, in a petition by its lawyer, Abel Sunday, condemned the lackadaisical attitude of the police authorities to the incident, saying the family would sue for damages if prompt actions were not taken.

The petition, dated February 17, 2017, was addressed to the Rivers State Commissioner of Police and copied the Inspector-General of Police, Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 6, Divisional Police Officer, Elekahia division, and DPO, Mini-Okoro division,

PUNCH Metro had reported that a Closed Circuit Television camera had captured the moment Nse was allegedly shot dead by the escort team in front of a hospital on January 31, 2017.

The victim’s widow, Christiana, had lamented that the police authorities chased her away when she attempted to report the incident.

According to the petition by the family, Nse, while on the hospital bed, was “shouting, ‘police shot me’ until he gave up the ghost.”

It said, “Mr. Nse Akpan told his son, Kingsley, that he was waiting for a taxi at First Bank Plc bus stop, Port Harcourt-Aba Expressway, when a bullion van with police escort coming from the direction of a fast food to a bank, needlessly and with intent to kill, shot horizontally within the height of Mr. Nse Akpan.

“Apprehensive of death, bleeding profusely and looking for urgent medical attention, Mr. Nse Akpan attempted to walk to First Rivers Hospital Limited, near First Bank Plc bus stop, but he slumped. A worker at the hospital, with the assistance of others, took him into the hospital. He was shouting, ‘police shot me.’”

The petition added that the victim died in the theatre while the hospital battled to remove the bullet from his body.

The lawyer stated that a senior police officer, who visited the hospital, refused to investigate the killing, saying the incident happened under the jurisdiction of Mini-Okoro Police Division, Port Harcourt, and not Elekahia, where he came from.

“The staff of the hospital assured my client that their CCTV camera captured the criminal act of the police escort because it happened within the vicinity of the hospital.

“On February 2, the widow of my client attempted to make an entry on the death to the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State, but the police officers obstructed her. However, with her insistence and out of pity, a policewoman advised her to consult and instruct a lawyer to inform you of the death by a petition,” it added.

The petition urged the Rivers State CP to personally investigate the matter and unravel the circumstances surrounding the killing.

 “The sole breadwinner of the family is gone because of the criminal act of the police escorts,” the petition added.

The Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Omoni Nnamdi, said he had yet to be briefed about the killing, adding that he was not aware of the petition.

He said, “We are busy with preparation for the concluding elections in Rivers State.

“I am not aware of the incident and I have not been informed of any petition.”

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Source: Punch

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