By Gabriel Enogholase
A trigger-happy police officer attached to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Benin, yesterday, allegedly shot a 400-level student of the University of Benin, UNIBEN, at the gate of the oil firm.
The student of the Department of Mass Communication, Miss Juliana Martins, is a participant in the ongoing workshop of the Petroleum Industrial Act (PIA), an event organized by the NPDC.
Addressing newsmen at the premises of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Benin, spokesperson for the Niger Delta Student’s Union Government and coordinator PIA workshop, Emieye Romeo, said they were at the firm’s gate to register their grievance before the management on how they were treated by the company.
He said they were at the company’s gate the previous day but were told to come back the next day.
Recall that the students had earlier protested to the company alleging that some agreements reached with them such as transportation and a cash incentive for about 50 persons were not fulfilled.
They alleged that at the end of the day, the amount that was agreed upon wasn’t granted, even as the laptops promised to them were not provided. “Instead they gave us an empty bag”, he said.
Emieye said that disappointed by the organization’s inability to live up to its responsibility, they decided to take their protest to the gate of the company.
The coordinator of the group narrated that while they were still at the gate protesting peacefully, one of the police officers attached to the company started shooting sporadically despite warnings from his superior colleague.
He added that in the process, a 400 level student of the University of Benin was hit on her leg and was subsequently taken to the hospital for medical attention.
He called on the Commissioner of Police, Edo State Command, to sanction the said police officer to serve as a deterrent to other officers who are so quick in taking laws into their hands.
However, the Police image-maker, SP, Bello Kontong, said he was at Okada and was yet to be briefed about the incident.
He said he would find out the situation of things as soon as he gets back to Benin.