A 47-year-old man, Amaechi Efungwu, who is presently in the hospital, has narrated how policemen dragged him on the ground until he became unconscious and was rushed to the hospital in the Rukpokwu area of Rivers State.
He also alleged that the same policemen shot dead some other people in Rukpokwu while trying to manage a protest that ensued after a young tricycle driver was killed.
Efungwu said he had been caught in the heat of the incident while returning home from his workplace that had been compulsorily closed as a result of the protest.
He said, “I was coming from work in a bus and I saw other people turning back. The driver of the bus I boarded turned the vehicle and followed one way because he was told that there was unrest in front, tyres burning at junctions and everything. We then asked what happened and we were told that a police officer shot a keke driver at Rukpokwu.”
He said after the passengers had all been aware of the situation, they agreed to trek amidst the crowd of people who had started a protest against the killing of the tricycle driver.
“As I was trekking, I saw a driver I knew, who came out with a bus. I called him to stop. He did and I continued the journey with him. When we got to Rukpokwu roundabout, the road was blocked, and we couldn’t pass. We managed to maneuver our way, we got further again, they blocked so that we could not go.”
He said it was unfortunate that he had not noticed what was going on as he only saw people running, and he was about joining when he was hit by a bullet.
Efungwu added that he was just fortunate as the next bullet took the life of another who was beside him.
“I was there and the police now carried me from there to Rumuokoro Police station. I’m one of those who came to burn their station. I said I did nothing; that I was going on my own. They used their legs to push me down from the van. They dragged me on the ground. I felt like a block inside mud water and I was there till after a while; they carried us to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.”
Efungwu said he had tried to call his wife when a police officer collected the phone from him and switched it off making it impossible for him to inform his family of his predicament.
“They brought us here to UPTH. There was no way I could call anyone because I don’t know any phone number offhand. I had to go and beg one nurse and started describing my younger sister and how she could get her here. It was the nurse that helped me get across to my sister.”
Saharareporters, New York