A 25-year-old man, Moses Adam, has been killed by a ‘stray bullet’ fired by a police officer in Benin City, Edo State.
It was gathered that the unfortunate incident occurred on Friday, September 17, when the deceased, said to be the only son of his parents, arrived Benin from Lagos to attend his sister’s wedding on Saturday.
A statement released by the spokesperson of the Edo State Police command, SP Kontongs Bello, disclosed that Adam was in a bus when he was hit by a stray bullet fired by an officer who was trying to arrest a murder suspect, Ebuka Nwaechie.
“He was rushed to the Edo Specialist Hospital where he gave up the ghost. The erring officer has been arrested and will go through administrative trial that will determine his culpability,” he said.
According to the police, Nwaechie was allegedly involved in the murder of one Bright Orikose on December 24, 2020.
However, one of Adam’s elder sisters, Esther, disagreed with the account and accused the police of trying to twist the narrative.
“My brother was not k*lled by a stray bullet as the police claimed. He was aimed at in the second car which Ebuka was not even inside. While treating my brother, the doctor told us that he was hit by a close range bullet and that he lost so much blood before his death,” she said.
A report by Foundation For Investigative Journalism (FIJ) said that Adam was driving with his friend, Kelvin Uwumunse, in a car while his other friends were in another car when “some police detectives on mufti violently waylaid their cars.”
The report said Adam and his friends were unsure of the identity of the people contending the road with them, so they tried to make a detour, but gunshots were fired at them.
“Immediately I heard a gunshot in front of me, I reversed, but they kept shooting at my tyre,” Uwumunse said.
“Then, one of them later shot at the door beside me and the bullet hit Adam on the thigh. I drove straight to Edo Specialist Hospital. If I had known they were police officers, I would have stopped immediately they ambushed us, but the way they drove and shot sporadically made them appear to me like kidnappers.”
Unfortunately, Adam died in the hospital after losing a lot of blood.
It was gathered that the police officers still arrested and detained three of Adam’s friends after the attack, and also reportedly failed to document the shooting at the station.
“It was after we got to the hospital that the police believed and gave us N120,000 for the treatment,” the family lawyer told FIJ.
Meanwhile, the Police Duty Solicitors Scheme of the Nigerian Bar Association, Benin branch, has demanded for the prosecution of the rogue police officers.