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Coronavirus Lockdown: Nigerian soldiers kill man while enforcing ‘sit at home' order





There was pandemonium in Warri town in Delta State after 28 years old Joseph Pessu, was allegedly shot dead by armed soldiers who were out to enforce the ‘sit at home’ order issued by the State Government as part of the effort towards containing the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

The boy who was reportedly shot at about 10 am at the Ogunu flyover bridge in Warri for allegedly refusing to stop for a check, was said to be driving towards the Warri NPA from Ubeji when he was accosted by soldiers enforcing the lockdown order.

According to sources, the soldiers chased the victim to the Ogunu flyover area where he jumped from the unnumbered Toyota Camry after using his vehicle to block the road to prevent military men from arresting him.

Sources said the deceased ran into a bush in the area where he was allegedly shot by one of the soldiers who were chasing him. The soldier who allegedly killed the boy has reported himself to police where he is being detained at the Warri Area Command of the Delta State Police Command.

Meanwhile, the Delta State Government has called for an investigation into the circumstances which led to the killing.

According to a statement by the State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, the government was worried about the report of an alleged killing of a 28-year old man in Warri by security agencies on regular patrol duty.

The state government also sent a delegation to the deceased family to condole with them over the loss of their son. While the statement said the military authorities have been contacted to carry out an investigation into what led to the killing of the young boy.

While urging the people to remain calm and not to take laws into their hands, he said the government would conduct an investigation into the killing.

Aniagwu thanked Deltans for their cooperation so far by remaining indoors, suing for further cooperation with the State Government in the best interest of Deltans.

In the same vein, the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has called for thorough investigation of the alleged killing of Joseph Pessu, an Itshekiri youth by men of the Nigerian Army enforcing the COVID-19 stay at home order of the Delta State Government.

Describing the incident as extra-judicial killing, the Deputy Senate President called for the arrest and prosecution of the culprit (s) to serve as deterrent to others.

Omo-Agege, while calling on all citizens of the state to desist from taking the laws into their hands as being reported in some quarters added that he has tasked the authorities to fish out those responsible and punish them in accordance with the laws of the land.

According to him, even if the deceased had flouted the order of the state government to stay at home, the best approach was to apprehend and hand him over to the police for prosecution.

While calling on security personnel to always maintain the rules of engagement as they enforce the lockdown order, he called on youths to exercise utmost restraint.

Also, the member representing Warri Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Thomas Ereyitomi has berated some men of the Nigerian Army over the maltreatment, torture and human rights violations of people of his constituency, especially Warri indigenes and others in their efforts to enforce the lock-down directives of the state government.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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