There was protest in Bayelsa State, Friday, after a policeman, Corporal David Napoleon, shot and killed a 13-year-old Senior Secondary School Student identified as Joseph Tomizibe.
Residents of Kpansia where the incident happened protested the killing, blocked the road and caused traffic gridlock along the busy Yenagoa-Mbiama road.
The policeman attached to the Department of Operations at the state police command, was said to have been arrested, disarmed and detained for further investigations.
The Kpansia community was thrown into chaos as youths, women and elders lamented rising illegal arrest by policemen.
But the intervention of Yenagoa Caretaker Committee Chairman, Oforji Oboku, calmed frayed nerves and stopped the angry residents from attacking a traffic policeman in the area.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Asinim Butswat, said the victim was 18 years old adding that he was shot when the policeman was trying to escape from being attacked by irate boys and suspected cultists in the area.
But the Central Zone leadership of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) faulted the claims of the police.
The Zonal Chairman of IYC, Mr. Tare Porri, who visited the deceased family, said his interactions with members of the family showed the victim was 13 years old.
Narrating how the incident happened, he said: “After consulting with the police and family of the deceased boy, it is clear that the deceased is 13 years old. He and the killer policeman were neighbours.
“Eyewitnesses said the policeman shot twice from the kitchen to scare some suspected cultists trying to gain entry. When he came out, he saw that the boys were still around. There was an argument and when one of the boys called others on phone, the policeman shot at knee level but the bullet hit the deceased on the thigh.
“Eyewitnesses and the Investigating officer confirmed to us that the boy was not a cultist. He was just witnessing the argument.
“I call on the State Commissioner of Police to investigate the incident and come out with a clear report to avoid a reprisal attack against security agents. Repraisal can happen when such cases are not properly investigated. Kpansia is a safe community and must be made to remain so.”
Reacting to the incident, the PPRO said: “The incident occurred at about 10pm on Thursday after six armed cultists invaded the home of Corporal David Napoleon at Kpansia area of the state capital.
“The suspect and armed cultists tore the window net and gain entrance into the house. The officer, who was home with his family, ran after the hoodlums and arrested one Stephen Ayama, male, 16 years and a member of the Greenlander cult group. He was handed over to the State Security outfit known as Door Akpo.
“When he was coming back to his house with a plan to move his family out to a safer place, some suspected cultists and indigenes of the community went after him to attack him.
“He ran but was chased by the irate youths. He turned and shot at them below the knee level. The bullet hit one Tombozide Joseph, 18 years, on the thigh. He was rushed to the Federal Medical Centre.”