The Ondo State Command of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) will take responsibility for the gruesome killing of a truck driver identified as Mr. Friday Igbinedion and compensate his family, SaharaReporters has learnt.
Igbinedion, a member of the National Union of Petrol and Natural Gas Employees (NUPENG), was killed by a detachment of six police officers in Ore, on his was to Warri en route the Lagos-Ore expressway, Ondo State, last Wednesday.
According to a source in the state command, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Patrick Dukumor, in a meeting with officials of NUPENG at the command's headquarters in Akure, agreed to compensate Igbinedion's family.
The source said the meeting lasted for several hours, adding that it was held behind closed doors with leaders of the union from Ondo and Delta States in attendance.
He said one of the six police officers alleged to have shot Igbinedion, and had been detained at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the command had confessed committing the crime.
"One of the police officers has confessed to the crime during the course of our investigation. Although, he said it was not intentional but said he was shot dead due to his stubbornness. The gun that was used is also in our custody," he said.
The deceased was driving from Lagos to Warri, Delta State enroute the Lagos-Ore-Benin express way to deliver petrol (PMS) when he was shot dead by policemen patrolling the road. The policemen after killing Igbinedion had set his truck ablaze.
Confirming NUPENG's meeting with the Ondo State Commissioner of Police, the union's Chairman in Delta State, Comrade Ochuko, in a telephone chat, said the rationale behind the meeting was to ensure that the command compensates the family of the deceased.
According to him, "We are not happy over this issue at all. We condemn it in strong terms and demand a wide broadcast apology from the Ondo State Police Command. As I speak now, we have taken over the matter to ensure justice is done and recovery of all losses incurred and adequate compensation to the family of the deceased driver."
The NUPENG boss also described the killing of their colleague has 'barbaric and unacceptable', saying the command should endeavour to train its officers on how best to relate with civilians and given proper orientation on how to handle guns.
When asked if legal action would be taken against the police by the union, Ochuko declined comment, but said the union officials were preparing to meet with the families of the deceased, adding that the union could not take any unilateral decision until such a meeting takes place.
He enjoined all members of the union in the state to go about their normal duties while investigation into the killing is still ongoing.
All efforts to get the reaction of the command's Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Wole Ogodo, proved abortive as his mobile phone was switched off.