Nigeria Police Officers Fired Upon Women Demonstrating Against Extortion In Delta State, Resulting In Numerous Injuries

Nigeria Police Officers Fired Upon Women Demonstrating Against Extortion In Delta State, Resulting In Numerous Injuries

Chaos erupted on Monday as police officers from the Ughelli Area Command, located in the Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, opened fire on women participating in a protest, resulting in numerous injuries and hospitalizations.

The unrest began when women from the Oteri-Ughelli community took to the streets to protest against alleged police extortion and frequent harassment by law enforcement officers.

Despite their peaceful demonstration, upon reaching the area command, they were met with resistance, attacked, tear-gassed, and shot at by officers stationed there. Consequently, many of the protesting women sustained various injuries and had to be transported to the hospital for medical attention.

Speaking to reporters, representatives of the protesting women, Harvest Ugbhwiako and Mrs. Vivian Aphiare, accused the police of arbitrarily arresting and detaining their children and wards who were running errands, demanding sums ranging from N150,000 to N200,000 for their release on bail.

Reacting to the situation at the emergency ward of the Ughelli General Hospital, where the injured women were admitted for treatment, the President-General of the community, Efe Erakpofoke Peter, denounced the police’s actions, stating that the women from the Oteri community were engaged in a peaceful protest to express their grievances to the palace of the Ovie of Ughelli kingdom and the area commander. 

“The area commander called me to appeal to my people to go home that he would look into their complaints but before that what we heard next was that police started shooting and teargassing the protesting women leaving many with injuries. The women embarked on the protest following the incessant police extortion and bribes from their children doing legal business of Okada transportation.

“Again, once you come out of the community to Ughelli main town once is 8pm you cannot get motorcycles or tricycles to carry you because of the police extortion, our mothers and women will trek home from the Ughelli main market every day because of the police harassment and extortion on the motorists.

“Recently the police embarked on incessant arrest and vandalisation of houses belonging to the youths of the community and carted away their personal belongings, detailed them, and collected a huge amount of money from them without offense.

“The actions of Nigeria police in Ughelli contravene the police practice and are inhumane, our community is a peaceful community and law-abiding citizens, stop making life difficult for us, you are making life difficult for these poor and innocent citizens,” the community leader alleged.

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