Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Bayelsa State wednesday disclaimed reports that a youth corps member serving in the state was shot dead by a trigger-happy policeman.
The agency noted that the leadership of the NYSC had visited both Bayelsa State Police Command and the hospital the victims were said to have been rushed to without any trace of the two person shot being corps members.
A police officer, currently in custody, had opened fire on a Peace Mass bus driver, leaving him seriously injured while a passenger sitting close to him was shot in the head at Ekeki.
The police officer attached to a commercial bank in Yenagoa had accused the driver of the bus of dropping off passengers in front of the bank, causing an altercation between them.
During an argument with the Peace Mass bus driver who was coming from the east, the police officer allegedly fired two shots, hitting both the driver and the young man in his early twenties before youths engaged in the destruction of the bank’s facilities.
However, in a statement in Yenagoa by its spokesman in Bayelsa State, Mr. Matthew Ngobua, NYSC said after several enquiries, no member of the corps was found to have died.
“The NYSC in Bayelsa State wishes to inform the public that contrary to reports making the rounds that a corps member was among the victims of a shooting incident that occurred in Yenagoa, on Monday, 6th January, 2020, nothing of such happened to any corps member serving in the state.
“It is pertinent to state that a visit to Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police by the NYSC State Coordinator, Mrs. Ojugo Elizabeth, so as to find out the true identity of the victims indicated that no corps member was involved.
“Gratifyingly, a similar visit to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Yenagoa by the state coordinator to personally see the victims for proper identification further validated our position.
“Accordingly, the public, particularly NYSC stakeholders, should disregard the phantom story in its entirety as it is very misleading.
“Management wishes to assure stakeholders that as the NYSC collaborates with security agencies in the state, it shall continue to remain alive to its responsibilities by placing high premium on the lives of corps members in the state,” the statement said.
Bayelsa State Police Command had earlier said it arrested and took into custody one Police Mobile Force (PMF) personnel over the shooting of the driver and another bus occupant.
It added that the cop was picked up on suspicion of “discreditable conduct and unlawful use of his firearm.”
“The suspect, a male NCO, who was arrested on the orders of the state Commissioner of Police, CP Uche Anozia, is currently in detention at the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department in Yenagoa,” the police spokesman, Asinim Butswat, had earlier disclosed.