Taraba State Youths under the aegis of One Taraba Youth Coalition has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba over the gruesome murder of their colleague, Oliver Ezra Barawani by a police officer, Sgt Haruna Idi.
The group said Ezra was shot by Idi at a checkpoint at Jalingo Numan Road when he was driving the Chairman of Lau local government area on the 19th November, 2021. He was rushed to the hospital but died two days later. November 2021.
SaharaReporters had reported that Ezra was shot and killed by a police officer (Ida) for allegedly refusing to pay N50 bribe.
The police however denied the bribery allegation, saying Ezra was hit by accidental discharge, during a struggle with Sergeant Idi at a roadblock along Jalingo/Yola road.
The Spokesperson for the Taraba police command, DSP Usman Abdullahi, said the deceased had physically engaged the officer in a fisticuff.
According to Taraba youths, Idi must be charged to court for his murderous act.
They noted that the checkpoint where Ezra was shot is notorious for heinous activities perpetrated by criminal Policemen, adding that it should be investigated.
These requests are contained in a press statement by OTYC, signed by Rt. Comr. Philip Achagwa and Chief Comr. Daniel Gelle Kwanchi Esq, which was obtained by SaharaReporters on Wednesday.
In the letter sent to Taraba Governor, Darius Ishaku and copied to others, the youths said it is the responsibility of the government to protest lives and property and ensure victims of violence get justice.
The letter further stated, “It is under these circumstances and with heavy hearts we write you today, urging for an independent investigation by Nigeria Police Force into the unimaginable and unconscionable MURDER OF MR. OLIVER EZRA BARAWANI, which our preliminary findings indicate that while he was driving his principal, the Executive Chairman of Lau Local Government Area of the State, one Sergent Haruna Idi of the Nigeria Police Force assigned on a ‘beat’ at a checkpoint along Jalingo Numan road, accused the deceased of violating instructions at the checkpoint.
“Having been approached by the Police orderly attached to the Chairman. The deceased and subsequently the chairman, it is our understanding that while everything seems to have been resolved and everyone in the vehicle was boarding, Sergent Haruna Idi then shot Mr Oliver Ezra from behind on 19th November 2021 where he passed away while on admission on 21st November, 2021.
“While Oliver’s murder has gone viral and the murderer was arrested and still in police custody, we find it appalling, inhumane and grossly insensitive for it to be reported that the murder of Oliver Ezra was as a result of police brutality.
“Mr. Oliver Ezra Barawani was a young graduate with a promising future. Well talented, disciplined, calm and selfless in all commitments we met with the family, friends and the chairman of Lau local government area to find their own assessment of the late Oliver Ezra Barawani. People confirmed that he was a reserved fellow, that hardly joined issues with anybody. Therefore, it is not normal for a man who is saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and property to take human life without justification.
“Furthermore, it is on record that the act of police brutality at that particular checkpoint is too inhuman of the Nigeria Police Force.
“We knew that the Nigeria Police Force under the leadership of IG Alkali has done great exploits in the area of crime detection and control where skilled and honest officers are doing this country proud. The Nigeria Police Force have intercepted various syndicates of high-classed criminals who have proved to live above the law before; they were not arrested and brought to book, but justice was given to their victims.
“However, due to prior incident of negligence, concealment of facts and numerous conflicts, we are far from confident that true justice will be served in this case without the intervention of the Inspector General of Police, whose sincerity of propose has transformed the Nigerian Police to a world-class security outfit within the shortest possible time of his assumption to office. With the circumstances of death, we demand that the IG should direct and prosecute Sergent Haruna Idi to court. This will end the circle of crimes and police brutality.
“Finally, the unity and strength of our dear state pride as ‘Natures gift to the Nations’ stands on the unshakable foundations that there will be equity and justice for everyone in Taraba state, indigene or non-indigene, resident or visitor, male or female, old or young, whatever your tribe, religion or political affiliation, justice for Oliver Ezra will be justice for all.”