THERE was pandemonium, on Saturday, at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp located at Daudu, Guma Local Government Area of Benue State, as a mobile police officer shot and killed a pregnant woman in the camp.
Policemen were deployed to the camp to help maintain peace and protect the IDPs, who were victims of herdsmen attacks on Benue.
The pregnant woman, identified simply as Mrs Queen Zoho, was killed during a protest by some youths against the manhandling of an okada rider by mobile policemen.
It was gathered that the woman was shot, alongside two other men, who were in critical conditions.
As of press time, the corpse of the victim was still at the Daudu police station near the camp, while the men were later reportedly rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.
It was gathered that the deceased had been staying in the camp since the outbreak of the crisis and was unable to return to her ancestral home as insurgents had taken over the communities.
Sources at the scene of the incident told Sunday Tribune that policemen had flagged down an okada rider and demanded to see his papers, and he had to go home to get it.
The source added that on arrival with his papers, the policemen still refused to release his motorcycle, which led to altercation between them.
“As they were talking, the policeman allegedly started beating and hitting him with the butt of his gun.
This was said to have attracted onlookers and passers-by, but the police officer, instead, opened fire, killing the pregnant woman instantly and injuring two other men in the process.
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, informed our correspondent that her daughter had gone to look for water when she was told of the police brutality.
She said when the deceased finally returned to the camp, she rushed to the scene to join other protesting refugees against the injustice by the police officers, when she was felled by the bullets of their guns.
“We were staying in Kogi State, but only came home for holidays, when we were caught in the herdsmen attacks on our community, who destroyed all our properties. There is no hope for us to return home as the communities are still under siege,” Mrs Zoho lamented.
She said her husband was not in the state when the incident occurred but was making efforts to link him up.
Our reporter also gathered that the Benue State Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni, visited the area with his men to calm the situation.
When contacted, the CP said that no IDP was killed and added that he had directed his PPRO, Moses Yamu, to issue a statement on the issue.
But as at press time, the command spokesman was yet to issue the statement.
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