Eyewitnesses reports have indicted the personnels of Afam Police Station in the explosion of an oil pipeline that killed at least 50 people on June 22, 2019 in Oyigbo, Rivers State.
Reports gathered revealed that the Afam Police Division Patrol Team fired gun shots into the pipeline over failed negotiation with people fetching petroleum products from the leaking pipeline.
A high chief in Oyigbo who spoke with our reporter on Sunday revealed that police officers invaded the scene of the incident early Saturday before the incident occurred.
“They passed here in their van to collect money from the people they saw there, a few minutes later the explosion started after we heard gunshots, those who escaped said they (the police) lit it.”
“This is not the first time these people from the Afam police station cause problems in this area.”
Darlington Ukame, an eyewitness, said: “If you had arrived here earlier, you would have seen police patrol van seized by the youth after the incident.”
“These people have caused a lot of pain in this Oyigbo, from extortion, illegal arrest, to cause of deaths. I was there, Instead of chasing the people away, they began to negotiate and collect money to the point of shooting into the pipeline to kill people.
“No less than 50 people have lost their lives because of these criminal-minded policemen.”
Another chief in the area who spoke on condition of anonymity and who also narrated how the incident happened, said police fired directly at the site before the explosion.
“When I saw people and a police van moving into the swamp where the pipeline is, I called my security to go find out who they are and what they were doing.” After he left, about 35 minutes later I heard sounds of gunsfire and later, explosion. When he returned, he told me that the policemen fired gunshots and caused the painful incident. Other people I met testified the same,” he said.
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