Mob sets bank ablaze as cop kills pregnant woman

2011-02-01
THE SUN Newspaper

Pandemonium reigned till noon yesterday at Mpape, an Abuja suburb, as an irate mob swooped on a new generation bank to protest the killing of a woman by a mobile policeman on guard. The protesters set ablaze nine cars parked within the bank premises, vandalised windows and had attempted to burn down the one-storey building before they were stopped by a combined team of soldiers, riot and regular policemen who arrived the scene in seven vehicles and one Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC).

However, the mob succeeded in burning the front part of the building and some other items including two air conditioners. An Automated Teller Machine (ATM) located at the entrance of the bank was also burnt.
Trouble started at about 7.30am, when an attempt by a mobile policeman on guard at the bank to chase away a cab driver who had parked within a restricted area to pick passengers. Enraged by the effontery of the driver to disobey his order, the cop allegedly opened fire and the bullets hit a woman on board the taxi, killing her on the spot. Three other persons were also said to have sustained varying degrees of injuries.

Sources also hinted that the deceased woman got married a few months ago and was two months pregnant before she met her untimely death. Her corpse was immediately evacuated to the Mpape Police Station where it was kept till members of her family were contacted. Those who were injured during the protest were said to have been taken to an undisclosed hospital.
The incident sparked violent reactions from angry residents mainly youths and artisans who attempted to reduce the bank building to rubbles but for the timely intervention of security agents who brought the situation under control.

In a bid to ensure that the rampage did not spread to the city centre, authorities of the Guards Brigade drafted its men in five vans to the scene, just as the police moved in with two Police Mobile Force (PMF) vans, one lorry and an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC). Apart from the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Mpape, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Commissioner, Haruna John, also visited the scene.

Although Haruna said the erring officer, whose identity could not be ascertained at press time, had been arrested and detained, he, however, told newsmen when he visited the scene of the incident, that it was an accidental discharge when the mobile policeman hit the cab with the butt of his riffle following the refusal of the driver to move out of the restricted area within the premises of the bank. He further disclosed that no arrest had so far been made in connection with the rampage at the bank.

Impeccable sources at the FCT Command Headquarters told Daily Sun that the mobile policeman was already facing Orderly Room trial.
“Though it was an accidental discharge, the policeman involved is already being tried because it involved loss of live. At the end of it, appropriate action will be taken,” he stated.
As at the time of filing this report, riot policemen and soldiers were still keeping vigil at the bank which was sealed up shortly before violence erupted.




 

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