Officers of the Nigeria Mobile Police deployed to the Internally Displaced Persons camps in Daudu, in Guma local government area of Benue State to help maintain peace in the crisis between Fulani herdsmen and Tiv farmers yesterday shot dead a pregnant displaced woman staying in the camp.
The pregnant woman identified simply as Mrs. Queen Zoho, was killed as a result of a sharp discord that ensued between youths of the area and the uniformed men.
She was shot alongside two other men who however did not die but were in critical conditions and wallowing in pains.
As at press time, corpses of the victim were dumped at the Daudu police station near the IDPs camp while the men were later reportedly rushed to the nearby hospital for treatment.
It was gathered that the deceased had been staying in the IDPs camp since the outbreak of the crisis and has since not been able to return to her ancestral home as the Fulani insurgents have taken over their communities.
Sources from the scene of the incident told newsmen that the killing which ignited serious tension within and outside the vicinity of the camp, started when a man identified as Ornyiev, conveying a passenger on his motorcycle to a village in Daudu for a wake keep was intercepted by the Mobile Policemen at a roadblock they had mounted.
“On arriving at the roadblock, Ornyiev was flagged down by the Mopol who seized his motorcycle. He (Ornyiev) then called his district head on the telephone from his village to intimate him about what had happened on his way to the burial and he swiftly sent words that the officers should please pardon the cyclist and release the motorcycle to him”.
“As they were talking, the Mopol man started beating up Ornyiev and hitting him with his gun butt after he asked him why they were maltreating him and this attracted onlookers and passers-by and he, in the process corked his gun and killed the pregnant woman instantly and injuring the other two men who were in critical condition”.
The source said youths of the area barricaded the road leading to Daudu for several hours in protest against the manhandling of the cyclist disrupting both human and vehicular traffic.
Mother of the deceased, Mrs Paulina Zoho, told newsmen that her daughter had gone to look for water from where she was informed of the police brutality.
She said when the deceased, 14 years, finally returned to the camp, she rushed to the scene to join other protesting refugees against the injustice meted out to Ornyiev by the Mopol team when she was felled by the bullets of their guns.
Mrs. Zoho disclosed that they were staying in Kogi state but only came home for holidays when they were caught up by the Fulani herdsmen attacks on their community who destroyed all their property, saying that there is no hope for them to return home as the communities are still under siege.
She said her husband was not in the state when the incident occurred but was making efforts to link him up.
When journalists contacted the State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, Moses Yamu for confirmation, he maintained sealed lips saying he was yet to obtain details about the killing and promised to divulge them as soon as they were ready.