Policeman Shoots Five-Year-Old, Journalist Covering Protest In Osun

An unidentified policeman on Tuesday shot the Correspondent of The Nation newspaper in Osun State, Mr Toba Adedeji in Osogbo, Osun State. 

Adedeji was rushed to Osun State University Teaching Hospital where he was recieving treatment.

The reporter was covering a protest at the Olaiya intersection, near Alekuwodo Market by some youths over police brutality as they mourned the death of one Abiola Afolabi, who was allegedly killed by police officers last month.

Some policemen came to the area to disperse the youths and started shooting sporadically.

An eyewitness, Mr Henry Olamilekan, said the policemen also shot a five-year-old school pupil.

Member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, civil society organisations and government functionaries stormed the hospital in solidarity with the journalist.

The Chairman of the Correspondent Chapel of the NUJ, Mr Shina Abubakar, who was at the scene during the shooting, condemned the action of the policemen.

The state Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, also condemned the shooting.

Oyetola said shooting at unarmed citizens was completely unacceptable, irresponsible and condemnable, adding that the sad incident could have been avoided.

He noted that it was unfortunate that the sad incident occurred while the citizens were mourning the death of a loved one.

According to Oyetola, such unlawful act by the police could aggravate an already tense situation that could lead to breakdown of law and order in the state.

He therefore called for thorough investigation of the incident with a view to ensuring that the culprits are decisively dealt with in accordance with the law of the land.

Oyetola said, “Shooting at journalists and unarmed citizens is completely unacceptable, irresponsible and condemnable. The police officers have no justification for this unfortunate and unlawful act. They could have employed other means rather than resorting to deadly force to disperse the group.

“The frequency of these unfortunate and avoidable provocative incidents is a source of concern to us, as a government. I have, therefore, directed the State Commissioner of Police to investigate the Tuesday shooting incident and ensure that his officers who are involved in it are identified and punished in accordance with extant regulations and law.

“We must ensure that this kind of sad and barbaric incident does not occur again in our State.

“I wish the Nation Newspaper correspondent, Adedeji, and the other citizen whom I learnt are presently receiving treatment at the hospital, speedy recovery. I am also calling on residents of Osun to remain calm and not take the law into their own hands. I assure that this matter will be pursued to a logical conclusion and the erring officers dealt with accordingly.”

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