A police officer reportedly opened fire at a hotel bar where people were watching a football match on Saturday, killing a young man who was drinking beer with his friend, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
The victim, Olaoye Abayomi, was with his friend, Idris Adebayo, at Queens Court Hotel bar at Ologede area in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, when four police officers arrived at the scene with a vehicle carrying “PF 600 – WSH” number plate.
The officer allegedly alighted from the vehicle and shot towards the direction of the crowd. A bullet hit Mr Abayomi in the stomach while his friend, Mr Adebayo, also reportedly sustained bullet wound on the leg.
Witnesses told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr Abayomi died instantly but Mr Adebayo was rushed to hospital by other police officers at the scene. The officer who fired the shots according to our sources ran away.
The incident happened around 9:30 p.m, during a football match between Manchester United and West Brom.
“I went to watch a football match at Queens Court at Ologede area in Ado Ekiti when the incident occurred around 9:30 p.m,” a witness, Adetunji Olaniyi, told PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday morning.
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“The police drove into the hotel as people were watching football and drinking. All of a sudden, we heard gunshots, and those of us watching football scattered in an attempt to run away for our lives.
“Before we could know what happened, we saw that police that entered have shot at people drinking, killing one person while the other was brutally injured on the leg”.
Seun Olaifa, another eyewitness, told PREMIUM TIMES that the atmosphere was calm and police should not have shot at peaceful citizens.
“They came in their usual way looking for who to raid and all we heard was gunshots and the perpetrator immediately ran leaving his colleagues who took the injured person to hospital.”
Asked if there was any incident that necessitated shooting, Mr Olaifa simply said: “the police officer shot anyhow. There was no incident that warrants shooting. People were drinking and watching football”.
Other witnesses told PREMIUM TIMES that the killing led to outrage in the community but was contained by police officers in the area.
police vehicle number plate
The state police command spokesperson, Sunday Abutu, confirmed the incident. He, however, told PREMIUM TIMES that the officer who fired the gunshot has been apprehended.
“The policeman who was involved in the fatal shooting at Queens Court Hotel for the reason which is still under investigation has been arrested by Ekiti State police command, disarmed and detained for investigation and disciplinary action.”
“Ekiti State Police Commissioner implores all the good people of Ekiti State to be calm as he will ensure justice prevails”, he said in a text message to our correspondent.
This incident comes weeks after angry youth protested across Nigeria against police brutality, extortion, assault and extrajudicial killings.
Following the protests, the federal government asked state governments to set up judicial panels of inquiry to investigate abuses by the police.
At the panels attended by PREMIUM TIMES, Nigerians have been narrating various atrocities, allegedly committed by police officers across the country.