One Mr. Daniel Kokorifa, an officer of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, in Bayelsa State has blamed the police in the state for the alleged extra-judicial killing of his 17-year-old son, Innocent Kokorifa.
Kokorifa said his first child out of five children, an Ijaw youth, was murdered in cold blood.
According to him, his son was shot dead on August 18 by the Anti-Vice/Anti-Kidnapping squad of the police at Air Force Road, Yenagoa, the state capital at about 11am.
In his chat with the Nation, the father of the deceased, who hails from Okpotuari community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, LGA, of the state said his son, who was to turn 18 on September 9, was a peacemaker, a non-smoker who had no records of criminality, a loving son, the kind of child every father would pray to have, and does not keep friends or late night.
“He had no criminal record whatsoever and until his death, he was not of a questionable character,” the FRSC official sobbed.
Kokorifa said, “On Thursday, August 18, I received a call from my wife that the police shot my first son, Innocent Kokorifa. I instructed my wife to go to police station at Ekeki to inquire about the condition and whereabouts of Innocent and she later called to inform me that on getting to the station, police shot my son’’.
“But the police retorted ‘do not say police shot your son, so that police will investigate the matter for you’. They admonished and doctored her that if asked, she should say ‘bad boys shot her son’.
“When I heard this, I left Port Harcourt, where I work, by night bus and arrived Bayelsa at about 11pm the same day. I made efforts to locate the whereabouts and condition of my son to no avail because most police stations l reported to claimed ignorance of the case.
“I went to the crime scene late in the night in company of some of my family members and on getting there I spotted blood stains on the ground, so the next day, we returned to the same spot and met a woman who told us what really happened at the spot. The woman told us that men of the Anti-Vice squad came out and shot at an unarmed boy, insisting that the environment was peaceful and there was no cause for alarm until the police in Jeans and t-shirts came and shot the boy.
“When the boy fell down and became lifeless, the police prevented people from having a close look at the lifeless body. They shielded the body of the deceased from onlookers and threw it into their van and zoomed off. After hearing this, I went to the office of Anti-Vice squad at Road Safety road to see the O/C Anti-Vice, but was told the O/C was not on seat and was advised to wait for the O/C.”
The embattled man further noted that after waiting in vain for the Officer Commanding Anti-Vice, he went to the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, where he was told by a doctor that a police team brought a lifeless body of a youth to the emergency unit on the fateful day.
Continuing, Kokorifa said “I was told that the Emergency Unit rejected the body since it was already lifeless. I further went to the mortuary unit, where on enquiry, l was told by the mortuary attendant that a body was brought by members of the Anti-Vice squad.
“The mortuary attendant told me that the police deposited money for the mortuary bill and signed the mortuary register at exactly 11:59am, about an hour after they killed him.
“The lifeless body of the deceased was brought out by the mortuary attendant and I identified it as my son. I noticed that the deceased was hit by a bullet which perforated his oesophagus.
“On the day of the incident, my wife told me that Innocent left the house and went out to visit his aunt, Miss Gbasiemokumor Lucky who lives at the street adjacent to our house. He recently sat for the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) and he was awaiting his result before they killed him.”
Backed by Ijaw youth groups and activists who accused the law enforcement agency of extra-judicial killing, the deceased family said justice must prev