Army Commander, Operation Thunderstorm, 4 Brigade Nigerian Army Headquarters, Benin City, Major Olugbenga Osuntuyi, has appeared before the Justice Joseph Olubor -led Administrative Panel of Inquiry to give testimony on circumstances that led to the clash between Edo youths and policemen over the alleged killing of a taxi driver, David Okoniba.
The Administrative Panel was set up by Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the incident. It commenced hearing on February 15 and fiancée of the deceased, Miss Ruth Okojie, who witnessed the incident as well as Policemen alleged to have caused the death of late David Okoniba have since appeared at the Panel, which led to Edo Youths protesting.
In his testimony, Major Osuntuyi said he led his team comprising of soldiers from the Operation Thunderstorm to the scene of the incident to restore law and order, noting, “The swift deployment of soldiers to the scene of the clash was to prevent the loss of more lives and property.”
Two Policemen, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Osula Monday and Inspector Lucky Eboh also appeared before the Panel and gave testimonies on their roles during the clash with the Edo youths, where they sustained various degrees of injuries. ASP Osula said, “We were attacked by angry youths after we were drafted to the scene of the clash to calm the situation.”
Other Policemen who appeared at the Panel include, Sergeant Sule Fatai, Sergeant Ernest Ebhomielen and Corporal Aigbojie Ailemen, who were part of the Policemen on duty at the scene of the incident. Speaking to journalists, Chairman of the Administrative Panel of Inquiry, Justice Joseph Olubor commended members of the public and the officers of the Police and Army who have appeared at the Panel to provide useful information to aid the inquiry into the incident.
Justice Olubor added, “The Policemen and Military officers who have appeared before the Panel were cooperative in providing useful information. The evidence submitted at the Panel have been very useful.
“We encourage other members of the public with useful information relating to the incident to come forward with their evidence. The Panel has an open-door policy for anyone with useful information.”