Tragedy struck in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on Sunday when a policeman attached to a yet to be identified firm shot and killed a taxi driver.
The incident, which happened in Rumuokoro axis of the area, caused commotion as policemen cordoned off the scene of the incident and shot into the air at regular intervals.
It was gathered that the policeman who allegedly shot and killed the taxi driver identified as Bright, was escorting a vehicle conveying frozen chicken and fish to an unknown destination.
Sources said the taxi driver was by the side of the road when the mobile policeman suddenly jumped out of the truck, went to the driver and shot him in the neck at close range.
It was also learnt that the driver of the truck carrying the frozen foods sped off immediately he realised what the policeman had done.
“The taxi driver was shot in the neck by the mobile policeman, who had earlier jumped down from the back of a truck.
“The driver of the truck zoomed off when it became clear to him that the taxi driver had been killed by the policeman.
“The sound of the gunshot scared people and everybody ran away. The taxi driver, according to what I heard, was from Abia State.
“He was just killed for no just cause. He was not even the person blocking the road,” an eyewitness at Rumuokoro said.
The incident, however, forced a protest by some youths of Igbo extraction, who apparently felt that jungle justice had been meted on their innocent brother.
The protesting youths called on the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris; and the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ahmed Zaki, to immediately fish out the errant policeman to face justice.
“One of them, who gave his name as Obinna, described Bright (the deceased) as a hardworking man who relied on his taxi business to fend for his family.
“Those who are supposed to protect lives and properties of Nigerians are now directing their guns at innocent people.
“You see what we are saying; if the policeman is well trained, why would he shoot a man that was not armed and not showing any aggression?” another eyewitness, who gave his name as Victor, lamented.
It was, however, not long before a group of armed police stormed the scene of the incident and allegedly took away the body of the slain taxi driver.
The policemen shot into the air, even as commuters and shop owners around the place scampered to safety in order not to be hit by stray bullets.
Also, residents, who live close to the scene of the incident ran out of their homes when the gunshots from the policemen became scary.
When contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the incident, but added that the suspected policeman was not officially operating in the state.
Omoni said, “The policeman does not serve in this state and efforts are on to identify and fish him out.
“We want members of the public to be calm; very soon, we will identify the policeman and deal with him according to the law.”
Speaking on the killing of the taxi driver, a human rights activist, Jackson Omenazu, said a well trained policeman would never be reckless with the rifle given to him by government.
“The Police should fish the policeman out and ensure that he faces justice.
“The Police should come up with a solution to this matter that would make the people see them as their friends,” Omenazu added.