A 23-year-old female corps member serving in Abuja has allegedly been shot dead by a policeman during a stop and search operation.
The deceased, Linda Angela Igwetu was reportedly shot around 3am on Wednesday, a day before her passing out of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) programme on Thursday.
Chinenye Igwetu, the sister to the deceased, confirmed the incident through her Twitter handle “@Chinny3bs”.
Her story was corroborated by Segun Awosanya, an activist and convener of the #EndSARS campaign, who in a series of tweet narrated the incident leading to the death of the young corps member.
“Miss Linda Angela Igwetu was meant to have passed out tomorrow (Thursday) from her NYSC program from her primary assignment positing at Outsource Global Company Mabushi.
“She finished at work late at about 11pm and joined a few friends to a hang out before their Passing Out Parade scheduled for the next day.
“They left for home at about 3am and was shot at shortly after the check point immediately after Ceddi Plaza by a Police Officer identified as Benjamin PETERS. The bullet hits Angela on her side, by the midriff and she began losing blood in the open roof vehicle,” he tweeted.
Awosanya added that the deceased was rushed to the Garki hospital where she was later confirmed dead.
He said, “from information further gleaned from reports on the field this time from the hospital.
Sources reveal that late Linda was indeed attended to immediately she was brought in.
She was in a pool of blood, low heart rate but medicated until they got her pulse up.
“Within the region of past 3am, it was reported that they rang a consultant who promptly came in to stabilize her while all hands were on deck. Medications were prescribed but she has lost so much blood. We are however looking to clarify what happened”
He said the case was later taken to Federal Secretariat Police Station “where the elder sister of the deceased Chineye Igwetu was crying for help before our legal team reached her, minutes after we were notified of the incident.
“The Legal team @citizens_Gavel are awaiting the police report on the incident and have initiated a petition to the commissioner of police & theForceHQ on the incident while preparing for a legal suit on this matter on behalf of the family at no cost. #EndSARS #ReformPoliceNG,” Awosanya tweeted through his @segalink account.
Awosanya further accused the police of planning to incriminate the deceased and her friend. He tweeted, “The @PoliceNG should be well aware that we know of the plots to incriminate the deceased & her friends that are still traumatized even as we speak. We know about the weed planted in their car as cover up and we know about the kidnap spin you are trying to deploy. #Justice4Angela”
When our reporter contacted the FCT Police spokesman, DSP Anjuguri Manzah, he confirmed the incident in a phone interview.
“We are investigating the case. It is at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), so, investigation is ongoing on the case,” he said.
However, a police source who prefer anonymity told our reporter that from preliminary investigation conducted so far, the shooting was intended to “save” the deceased, who the policemen on stop and search operation thought was being kidnapped.
“The men were on a stop and search point. It was not a deliberate thing. It was an effort to salvage the girl because there was a distress call. While the deceased’s vehicle was approaching, she was shouting for help.
“The patrol team was flagging down the car but it refused to stop. So the whole shooting was more of an operational error in an attempt to save her life because they did not know the motive of those in the car.
“The policemen thought it was a kidnap situation. So the best thing the policeman could do was to shoot and he shot with the intent of targeting the tire of the car but it went wrong”, the source said.