REPORT ON THE KILLING OF THREE INNOCENT YOUTHS WHICH LED TO A PEACEFUL PROTEST IN UGHELLI TOWN
On the 01/03/2016, three young men were killed at about 11am by the Police and Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN). The killing took place at Lexdiete Street, off Ekredjebor Road, Ughelli.
The deceased Umukoro Kelly of Orogun, Ughelli North , Ogodo Kennedy of Ozoro, Isoko South and Iwhiwhu Edafe of Abraka Ethiope East, all of Delta State , went to Lexdiete Street off Ekredjebor Road to meet their friends who are residents of the street where the incident occurred. The deceased and five of their friends went to an uncompleted building belonging to the father of one of the friend’s of the deceased.
At this point, it was gathered that the boys were playing “WHOT” card when the Police and Vigilante Group of Nigeria invaded the premises and five boys out of eight ran but Kelly, Kennedy and Edafe refused to run because they felt there was no reason for running.
All of a sudden Edafe was shot, while he was crying and screaming for help, he brought his identity card (He was a student of Global Maritime Academy) to show he was not a criminal, but to the greatest surprise of the observers (i.e neighbors in the street) a VGN member collected the identity card and threw it away and Edafe was shot again till he gave up the ghost.
To silent the murder, Kennedy and Kelly who were first hand witnesses of the incident were also shot to death so as to conceal the truth about the unjust killing of Iwhiwhu Edafe.
The bodies were taken to the police station where two locally made guns and cutlasses was dropped on their corpse- as what was found with the deceased
The protest which was led by Mr. Respect Ovoke Iwhiwhu, the older brother of one of the deceased – Iwhiwhu Edafe was peaceful and it started at about 9:30am. The protesters gathered in their large numbers at Osirire Street off Upper Afiesere Road, the home of Iwhiwhu Edafe (one of the deceased)
The protesters took the protest to Ughelli Division A Police Station, Local Government Secretariat, and the Palace of His Royal Majesty. During the Protest the protesters were stopped at Adonovwe Street by the Nigerian Army and Mr. Respect who led the protest was thoroughly interrogated by the military personnel. After much interrogation, the Nigerian Army accompanied the protesters to the station, local government secretariat and the kings Palace Just to make sure the protest was peaceful.
THE POLICE STATION
On arrival, the DPO, Area Commander alongside some of their men welcomed the protesters into the station and Mr. Respect was given time to tell the DPO and his men the reason for the protest.
Mr. Respect, said in his words, I have come to demand justice for the killing of my innocent brother and his friends who were allegedly killed by the Police and VGN on the 01/03/2016. He also demanded the police to prove before everyone who was robbed by these young men, the time and where the robbery took place.
Responding to Mr. Respect, the DPO commended the protesters for their peaceful conduct during the protest and not taking laws into their hands he told the protesters that investigation is ongoing and justice will be served once the investigation is concluded. He also said though, the boys were earlier buried after the killing, a call from His Royal Majesty the Ovie of Ughelli Kingdom prompted the police to exhume their bodies and taken to the mortuary till further investigation is made.
THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT SECRETARIAT.
From the police station, the protesters went straight to the Local Government Secretariat, where the secretary to the Local Government on behalf of the chairman, assured the protesters justice will be done.
He also promised the protesters of checkmating the activities of the local vigilante henceforth in the local government.
Also speaking, Bobi Isaac a youth representative of the Community Stakeholders Network (CSN), urged the local government authorities to speed up the investigation on the murder of these young men who were murdered for no reason, as negligence on their part might prompt unrest in the local government.
In conclusion, the secretary, promised to convey the protesters agitation to the chairman.
On arrival the protesters stood outside the palace while the leader of the protest Mr. Respect, the three youth representative of the Community Stakeholders Network were allowed into the palace.
His Royal Majesty, Ovie of Ughelli Kingdom was also keen on justice been delivered. He concluded by a advising the youth of the clan to be law abiding, careful and mindful of their activities.
In conclusion, the protest was suspended and protesters were dispatched without any violence recorded.