A policeman in uniform yesterday in Abuja shot a man in the leg after an argument on who should pay for a bottle of beer. The incident occurred at a beer parlour, popularly called ‘Yori-Yori shop’ located on the Ebitu Ukiwe Street, Jabi District around 2pm. Witnesses said the policeman was under the influence of alcohol before he fired his gun.
Patience Patrick who serves as a salesgirl in a nearby shop said “the policeman came to Yori-Yori shop around 2pm and ordered for a bottle of beer. He was offered a chair and he sat holding a gun. He drank the beer and stood up with the intention of leaving the shop. The lady selling beer then asked for her money, which is N250, and the policeman refused to pay and told the girl to keep quiet.
“The lady started crying and begged the policeman to pay the money but the officer ignored her and got out of the shop. She followed him outside, crying and while she was pleading with him to pay the money one man intervened and urged the policeman to pay for the beer took. He even told the police that his failure to pay the lady would tarnish the image of the police force. The policeman who looked drunk was angered at that point and he slapped the person in the face and threatened to open fire on anybody that talked to him again. So, man, too, was not happy with the way the policeman slapped him and he demanded to know why. Both men started arguing and the policeman engaged his gun and shot the man in the leg. He fell down.”
She said when the policeman was sure that the man fell, he moved away from the scene, but before he could go far “people mostly attracted by the sound of the gunshot gathered and started beating the policeman. He was severely beaten by the crowd and fell. A police patrol team later came and picked him up in their van.”
She said Bigee was taken away by the police and another group of policemen later came back to the shop and took the lady away. “That is why the door is locked.”
Our reporter later went to the beer parlour and met a lady inside, who claimed to be a sister to the owner. The lady, who will not want to be named, said “the shop owner is my sister but not biological sister. I heard what happened and went to the police station in Utako to see her. I met her there and she has already made statement and has gone to the General Hospital, Wuse, to the man shot by the policeman. I was told the policeman is in detention but I haven’t seen him.”
When contacted, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Utako Division, Mr Usman K. Umar, a Chief Superintendent of Police, confirmed the incident to Sunday Trust. When our reporter contacted the Police Public Relations Officer Altine Daniel, the officer also confirmed the incident, saying the police officer involved is Sergeant Oludare Ariyo of the Special Police Unit Base 7, who was posted to RCC Construction Company, Utako, Abuja.
The PPRO said, “He left his beat and went to Kpana Village for a drink, but ended up shooting one Joseph Martins, alias Mr Big, over a small altercation. As a result members of the public descended on the policeman and took away his arm. A quick intervention by the police led to the recovery of the weapon, but with its magazine. Also, the police rescued the officer from the mob.”
The Police spokeswoman said further that the victim sustained fracture on the leg and had been admitted at the General Hospital, Wuse, Abuja. She added that, “the officer will be dealt with according to the law, even though he is not of the FCT Police Command. The victim is in the FCT, so the FCT Police Command will take it up. First, he left his job to a drinking spot. Secondly, he shot a civilian. These are two serious offences.”
She appealed to FCT residents to go about their normal businesses as the police would do everything possible to ensure that such incident does not happen in future.