A policeman was shot dead during a protest organised by youth inside a police station in Ekiti state on Friday.
The incident reportedly happened when about angry youth invaded Ado central police divisional headquarters in the state capital to protest the killing of a motorcyclist by a driver.
In the process of trying to disperse the protesters, a policeman was said to have been shot dead.
The youth were said to have been angry over the seizure of the corpse of the motorcyclist and N470,000 the driver paid to the family of the deceased.
“When the police failed to release the corpse and money allegedly collected from the driver to the family of the deceased person, the relatives stormed the police station in protest and demanded that the corpse and the money should be released,” a witness said.
“Sensing that the protest was becoming violent, the police fired teargas canisters and gunshots to scare them. In the process, stray bullets hit a policeman in the leg, who later bled to death.”
Sunday Abutu, spokesman of the state police command, confirmed the death of the policeman but said the protest started because the youth heard that N150,000 was to be paid to the bike owner.
He said the youth thought the policemen were trying to cheat them, adding that it was wrong to conclude it was a policeman who fired the bullet as investigations were still going on.
“It was true that the police allowed the driver and the deceased’s family to negotiate and the driver agreed to pay a sum of N440,000, which had been paid to the family of the deceased,” he said.
“But out of that money, it was agreed that a sum of N150,000 should be paid to the bike owner. It was this the protesters heard and stormed the police station in anger that our men were trying to cheat them. The owner of the motorcycle has not even been paid at all.
“As they were brandishing dangerous weapons and requesting that the detainee be released to them, the police fired teargas canisters to scare them. But to the police’s surprise, they saw that gunshots were coming from different directions and one of our men was hit in the process and died. It was hasty and wrong that it was the police that fired the shot that killed one of them. We are still investigating.”