YENAGOA — She gazed into the sky murmuring to herself oblivious of her surroundings, only for her to say why will the police kill my son in his prime. “Why will they choose to kill him on the day his School certificate results were released and he made all his papers?”
Mrs. Preye Daniel was asking those who had come to commiserate with her over the death of her first son, Innocent Daniel Kokorifa, who was allegedly killed by policemen attached to the Anti-Vice Unit of the Bayelsa state Police Command. Mrs. Preye Daniel said on the fateful day that she sent her son to the next street, behind their Road 6, Flat 53, Okaka Housing Estate, Uyo, to give N2,000 to her elder sister’s daughter, but the 17 years old boy did not return home as he was shot by the police.
Narrating the incident, mother of the deceased Mrs. Preye Daniel, said she had sent his first son Innocent was on an errand on that fateful day, adding that after she was informed that policemen had killed his son, the police denied and asked her to say that it was hoodlums so that they can investigate the matter quickly.
Mrs. Kokorifa said: “I sent Innocent to go and give two thousand Naira to my elder sister’s daughter around 11am Thursday morning, later in the day I was informed that Innocent was shot by the police, and I called my husband, who was in Port Harcourt and he asked me to go and find out what happened.
“First, when I went to the Anti-Kidnapping office of the police and told them that they have killed my son, they asked me to say that it was bad boys that killed him so that they can investigate quickly.” Mr. Daniel Kokorifa, a Road Safety Officer with the Rivers State Command of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, who was at his duty post in Port Harcourt when the incident happened, said “the day he died was the day his principal called that he had made his papers, he wanted to read law at the university and now he is nowhere to be found again and he is lying dead in the mortuary.
I want justice to be done, to serve as a deterrent. He added that the police after killing his son “they maliciously branded him as having exchanged gun fire with them before he was killed , alleging falsely that they found a locally made pistol and some wraps of Indian hemp on him after his death.” “Initially the policemen at the State Anti-Robbery Squad and the Anti-Vice Unit denied any knowledge, so the following day we went back to the scene of the incident and eye witnesses told us that it was Anti-Vice that shot him and from there we went to anti vice office where they said their boss was not around.
He added, it was while she was there that I saw a policeman I knew before and I inquired from him about my son, but he said there was nothing like that; “I later found out that the same police officer was the leader of that operation that killed my son.
“We went to emergency department of Federal Medical Centre and a woman told us that a doctor told them that policemen brought a body but when they came out to check that they discovered the person was brought in dead and so they left with the corpse.
We then went to the mortuary and found his corpse there. I took his picture and went back to report to the Officer in Charge at the Anti-Vice Unit.”
While describing his son as an amiable and intelligent young lad, who has never been involved in any criminal activity before he met this untimely death, Kokorifa , in a petition to the Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, Zone 5, Benin City, Edo State, is demanding justice. When contacted, spokesman of the Bayelsa State Police Command, Asinim Butswat, said investigation on the matter has started and appealed for calm.