By Osaigbovo Iguobaro Benin
At least three persons including a taxi driver were feared dead on Tuesday morning in Benin City.
The fatal accident was reportedly caused by Policeman attached to patrol team on Murtala Mohammed Way by Igun junction in the state Capital.
Tragedy struck after a policeman attached to Esigie Police Division reportedly pushed the cab with registration number AFZ 846 HW towards a truck laden with petrol coming from the opposite direction.
It was alleged that the failure of the 28-year-old to present an up-to-date papers of his vehicle to the team of policemen who were on a routine stop-and-search prompted the crisis.
An argument was said to have ensued between a policeman and the driver after the security operatives allegedly rejected N150.00 as bribe handed to them by the deceased.
A policeman was beaten and left for death in the ensuing fracas; while an unidentified two persons were also reportedly killed by stray bullet around Dawson road in Benin.
A witness and fiancée of the deceased who identified herself as Ruth Okojie said: “as the hot argument rages, I reached out for my bag to give the policemen N1,000 because we were rushing somewhere.
“But before I knew it, a policeman pushed my fiancé into an oncoming petrol tanker which crushed him to death… and we have scheduled our wedding for next Saturday”.
The development later turned violent as angry youths threw stones at the policemen to protest their displeasure over the incident.
The protest caused heavy gridlock on Murtala Muhammed Way and other adjourning roads including Akpakpava, New Lagos road, Dawson and 2nd East Circular road in Benin.
Commuters and Pedestrians had to manoeuvre to their destinations through alternatives routes.
Three police operation vehicles and another van belonging to Edo state Traffic Management Agency (EDSTMA) were set ablaze by the rampaging youths, causing gridlock for several hours.
The State Commissioner of Police, Johnson Kokumo confirmed the development to journalists at the Benin Central Hospital Morgue where the victims remains was deposited.
Kokumo said he has ordered the arrest of the policemen involved in the deaths, adding, that the command would commence full scale investigation of the incident.
According to him, any policeman found culpable would be dismissed from the force and prosecuted.