Father seeks justice after NDLEA operative kills his son and threatens him

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Father seeks justice after NDLEA operative kills his son and threatens him

Mr. Fidelis Omhonria, the father of a two-year-old boy who was tragically killed by stray bullets from National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) operatives in Okpanam, Delta State, is calling for justice. He recounted the incident and revealed that one of the operatives, after being informed that the gunshots had claimed his son’s life, still aimed his weapon at Mr. Omhonria and threatened him.

The child, Ivan, succumbed to his injuries at the Federal Medical Centre in Asaba, where he was rushed after being hit in the abdomen by a stray bullet. His younger sibling, Erhumossele, also suffered injuries from shattered glass and is currently receiving treatment.

The children had returned from school and were in their mother’s baking shop when the incident occurred. Mr. Omhonria had dropped them off at the shop with the intention of returning later to take them home.

Mr. Omhonria described the harrowing moments following the incident, stating that his wife and daughter narrowly escaped harm. He witnessed armed NDLEA operatives in Hilux vans and a Sienna vehicle near the shop, some of whom were armed with pistols and other firearms.

He confronted one of the operatives, informing him that their gunfire had killed his son. However, the operative disregarded his plea, prompting Mr. Omhonria to take out his phone and start taking pictures. In response, another operative threatened him by cocking his gun and demanding the phone. Mr. Omhonria refused, stating that his son was already dead.

Eventually, one of the operatives came forward and asked what had happened. Mr. Omhonria informed him about his son’s death. Following a silent exchange between the operatives, they entered their vehicles and drove away.

Mr. Omhonria followed them until they reached Issele-Azagba, where they stopped. He confronted them again, and they apologized, claiming that the shooting was unintentional. However, one operative continued to threaten Mr. Omhonria while pointing his weapon at him. They then contacted their commander, who instructed Mr. Omhonria to accompany them to Ogwashi-Uku and meet with their superior. The commander was briefed on the situation.

Later, officials from the agency visited the hospital, and Mr. Omhonria’s friends donated blood for his injured child. Unfortunately, Ivan could not be saved due to the severity of his injuries. The case was reported to the GRA police station, and it was subsequently transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department.

The State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Wale Abass, has directed that the matter be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department for further investigation, and all involved parties are expected to appear before the Commissioner on Monday.

Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State condemned the incident and called for a thorough investigation to hold those responsible accountable. He expressed condolences to the family of the deceased child and emphasized the importance of law enforcement operating within the boundaries of their rules of engagement to prevent similar incidents in the future.

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