*Dismissal of Police Corporal welcome but…
Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has called for the arrest and prosecution of those involved in the recent shooting of two of its officials in Abia State.
The Public Education Officer and spokesman of the Corps, Bisi Kazeem, made the call on Tuesday while reacting to the reported dismissal of a police corporal, Iroh Orji, over the incident.
Mr. Orji, who was an orderly to the Speaker of Abia House of Assembly, allegedly pulled the trigger on the FRSC officials at their duty post on July 15.
The Abia State Commissioner of Police, Leye Oyebade, announced Mr. Orji’s dismissal from the Force on Monday, saying that he was found guilty of the offence during an orderly room trial.
Mr. Kazeem said that the policeman’s dismissal was a welcome development. He, however, called for the criminal prosecution of Mr. Orji and others involved in the shooting, including the Speaker, his wife and an operative of the State Security Services (SSS).
He said “the corporal’s dismissal is a welcome development, which shows that the police have zero tolerance for acts of indiscipline and lawlessness among their men. But, we call on the police to institute criminal proceedings against him and others involved in the act of criminality against our men.
“We have made this demand in writing to the Director of DSS in Abia, who said he had made recommendation to headquarters for disciplinary action against the operative.
“The director said the recommendation had to be verified and approved by headquarters before action could be taken.’’
Mr. Kazeem said that FRSC had also written to the police command in the state seeking the arrest of the speaker, his wife and the driver of the vehicle involved in the incident.
The speaker, Chikwendu Kalu, is alleged to have ordered the shooting of the FRSC officials, but he has denied the allegation.
It would be recalled that the incident occurred at Arungwa Junction (near Aba) on the Enugu-Port-Harcourt highway.
Mr. Kalu’s wife, Victoria, was said to be travelling to Aba when the FRSC men flagged down her vehicle and attempted to book her for seatbelt violation.
A heated argument ensued during which she allegedly pounced on the road safety officials with the help of a female SSS operative, who was travelling with her.
Witnesses said that the woman called her husband, who arrived at the scene and allegedly ordered his orderly to shoot the FRSC officials.
When the speaker visited the victims at the hospital the next day, he was said to have been denied access into the ward where the FRSC officials were receiving treatment.
One of the wounded officials said “I saw him at the scene. What if we had died, he would have come to see our corpses.”
But, the speaker blamed the incident on “over-zealousness’’ of the security officers involved.
“I strongly condemn any over-zealousness on the side of any security personnel, be it anyone, not to now talk of being the Police, FRSC, the Army and Department of State Services.
“I think I will be the last person to encourage it because it doesn’t augur well with state and the country at large,’’ he said.