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Naval officer shoots okada rider in Kogi state • Prosecute culprit, NOPRIN tells Navy chief.

The Network on Police Reform in Nigeria has called for an investigation of Navy Commander Otuh Bassey, who shot an okada rider, Muhammed Idachaba, in Idah, Kogi State.

Idachaba was shot by on Tuesday, 26 July, 2016 after Bassey allegedly frog-matched him and told him to kneel as punishment for claiming right of way with the naval officer who was riding an SUV.

In a report by NOPRIN describing "the inhuman and degrading treatment and shooting of a motorcycle rider," it was learnt that the motorcycle rider was riding from Sabon Gari area of Idah when Navy Commander Bassey, who is said to be the Assistant Commandant of the Idah Naval Post attempted to shove him off the road with his Pathfinder SUV.



The group said in a statement signed by its National Commander, Okechukwu Nwanguma, "Because the road was bad, the motorcycle rider felt that the Naval officer was trying to manoeuvre through the potholes.

"A little distance ahead, the okada rider met the same Naval officer parked by the roadside and as he passed, the Naval officer entered his vehicle and gave chase. He double-crossed the okada rider and forced him to a stop.

"The Naval officer, who was carrying a girl in his SUV, came out from his car and ordered the okada rider to park his bike, and he obeyed. He ordered him to kneel down and he also obeyed, and he then ordered him to frog-match."

NOPRIN said information it gathered showed that the encounter took a different turn when it became apparent that the punishment being meted out to the okada rider was for a past grievance.

The Naval officer reportedly asked if the okada rider remembered what he told him during the last state assembly re-run election at Ogegele.

NOPRIN said the Naval officer told his victim "that he promised that he was going to waste him any moment, and that the time has come.

"At this point, the Naval officer drew his pistol and started to shoot the boy and that he shot him several times until the boy fell in a poll of his own blood.

"Believing that the okada rider was dead, the Naval officer entered his SUV and drove to a motor park where he dropped off the girl he was carrying in his car and left."

Saturday learnt that unknown to the Naval officer, a plain-clothe policeman witnessed the incident nearby.

The policeman would later trail Bassey to the motor park.

As soon as the naval officer dropped off his female passenger, the policeman arrested her and took her to the police station.

"The girl then called the Naval officer from the police station and informed him about her arrest. He arrived at the police station and made statement claiming that he did not shoot the boy on purpose," NOPRIN said.

That the okada rider was taken to Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja. But the medical centre workers were on strike. He is scheduled to go for surgery on Monday August 12, 2016.

NOPRIN said it considers the action of the Naval officer, a gross abuse of power and disgraceful to the image and professional integrity of the Nigerian Navy.

The group has now called on the Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe Ibas, to investigate Bassey for his conduct. It says the Naval officer has to be dismissed or handed over to the police for prosecution.

Spokesperson for the Navy, Commodore Christian Ezekobe, was not available for comment on this case on Friday as his line remained unreachable as of press time.

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