Man dies after police sprayed teargas on him

A man, Onyebuchi Anene said to be returning home from work at about 9 p.m. on Wednesday when his car collided with a motorcycle rider leading to an altercation between both men has been reported dead when after police allegedly sprayed teargas on him in Abuja.

Penpushing reports that the deceased who lived in Haj Estate with his wife and three children on Arab Road, Kubwa, a satellite town in the federal capital, was teargassed by a member of the Abuja Special Intervention Squad (SIS) of the Nigeria Police.

The wife, Ogochukwu Anene, said on Thursday that eyewitnesses recounted to her the events leading to the death of her husband, narrating that during the altercation between her husband and the motorcycle rider, police officers on patrol arrived at the scene and directed both men to follow them to the Byazhin Police Station.

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Penpushing further reports that the widow explained that his husband and the motorcyclist, however, refused, explaining that the duo had already settled the matter and there was no need to go to the station.

The woman said the eyewitnesses stated that the police insisted, but the duo stood their ground, adding that it was at this point that one of the police officers, the driver of the van, shot a canister at close range, which penetrated Anene’s forehead.

‘The incident happened on Arab Road, just very close to our house. He was coming back from work around 9 p.m. At the junction, he had an altercation with a motorcyclist who scratched his car’, the wife said.

“As they were arguing, policemen on patrol came and insisted they should go to the police station in Byazhin. He and the motorcyclist said they had settled the matter and didn’t need to go to the station’, the widow added.

‘The police insisted and tried to drag him, but he refused because he was close to the estate. He said he had forgiven the motorcyclist. But the driver of the police van, sprayed teargas on him before he shot another teargas on his forehead—what you saw stuck on his face was a teargas canister. That wound is very deep. Blood was gushing out as he called for help’, she added.

‘They went to Kubwa General Hospital, but they were referred to the National Hospital. At the National Hospital, they said they needed to stabilise him before removing it. He died this morning (Thursday)’, she lamented.

“I arrived at the National Hospital around 11 p.m. on Wednesday where I met some police officers delegated by the Byazhin Divisional Police Officer (DPO) to take care of him’, the widow narrated.

Penpushing also reports that Police Public Relations Officer, of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Josephine Adeh, when contacted confirmed the incident adding that the officer who sprayed the teargas has been arrested.

The spokesperson said the Commissioner of Police, Benneth Igweh, has directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Criminal Investigation Department, to commence an immediate and discreet investigation into the circumstances surrounding Anene’s death.

‘While the police officer responsible for the accidental discharge is in custody, the commissioner of police expresses profound and heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and the public at large. He unequivocally condemns the unprofessional and disheartening conduct of the police officer and assures the family and the public of swift justice’, she said.

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