Five Dead as Army Denies Killings in Bayelsa

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By Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

Five persons have been killed in various locations in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

Among those shot dead at the separate incidents were one Diyelaimi Ben-Walson, a final year student of the state-owned Niger Delta University (NDU),  a young man identified simply as Whoknowstomorrow who was shot dead at a relaxation spot in Biogbolo, Yenagoa and an unnamed victim who was attacked by party thugs at Otuokpoti, Ogbia and currently at the emergency unit in a Port Harcourt hospital.

The army personnel were said to have mobilised to the spot a day after a colleague of theirs was robbed of his phone at gunpoint, before shooting and killing the 27-year-old Whoknowstomorrow.

Also, three persons were confirmed dead in Swali, in the state capital, when a military man reportedly attempted to shoot an armed robbery suspect who was trying to rob a woman.

While some eyewitnesses said the soldier mistakenly shot the woman being robbed, the robber and a passerby, others said the suspect had already loaded and readied his gun when the soldier shot him, before the gun exploded and fired indiscriminately.

However, operatives of the Bayelsa State Police Command said they arrested a 31-year-old cult leader identified as Victor Meremunyu alias Y. B. Lee and five others over the alleged shooting to death of  the final year student.

“At about 11.30a.m., the final year student, who is resident at Lagold street area of Azikoro road fought with one Victor Meremunyu over an undisclosed issue. Victor brought out a gun and shot Diyelaimi Ben-Walson dead. He has, however, been arrested,” said a police source.

But the military said there was no truth in the alleged shooting of the young man at Biogbolo.

“The allegation that soldiers shot at them sporadically which led to the death of one youth and leaving several others injured was malicious and totally untrue.

“It is important to categorically state that no soldier was involved in any shooting saga in Yenagoa.  Additionally, the Brigade wishes to reiterate that it’s personnel are professionals who conduct operations in line with the extant Rules of Engagement and Code of Conduct as well as best global practices,” a statement by Maj. Jonah Danjuma, an Assistant Director Army Public Relations said.