Once again, officers of the Nigerian Police Force are in the news for the wrong reason.
This time, a lecture of the University of Benin has died and another person badly injured after a commercial driver, who was allegedly running away from police extortion, rammed into them.
Dr Stella Okotie died on Tuesday, July 21, as a result of the accident that happened in Benin City at about 6:30 pm along the ever-busy Benin-Lagos expressway, close to the UNIBEN main gate.
Until her demise, the deceased was a lecturer at the UNIBEN faculty of Education.
There are unconfirmed reports that another person was killed in the accident, and another sustained injuries.
Eyewitnesses claim the commercial bus driver was running away from the police officers who had earlier flagged his vehicle down, demanding N100 bribe.
One of the officers was said to have jumped into the moving bus and engaged in a physical struggle with the bus driver, dragging the steering wheel.
The late UNIBEN staff was reportedly standing at the walkway alongside her husband, Dr Williams Okotie, also a staff of UNIBEN, and her son when the bus hit her and a stationery UNIBEN water supply van.
“The police officers were pursuing a commercial bus in the quest for money leading to a physical struggle between one of the officers and driver of the vehicle,” an eyewitness told Campus Gist.
“While the police were struggling the steering wheel with the driver, the bus ram into Dr Okotie who was standing on the walkway just by the side of her vehicle killing her on the spot.”
Following the incident, the police officers fled the scene leaving behind one of their colleague who was beaten by an angry mob.
Consequently, residents and passersby barricaded the ever-busy New Lagos road right in front of the UNIBEN Ugbowo main gate, causing heavy traffic gridlock for hours.
The UNIBEN medical students embarked on a solidarity protest on Wednesday, July 22, over the killing of Dr Stella Okotie, the mother of their former colleague.
A statement issued by Comrade Goodluck Eghosa Osemwenkhae, Director of Information, Media and Publicity, on behalf of the union, said the protest would cover the police headquarters and the Edo State Government House.