Protest as DSS officers driving against traffic kill tipper driver, injure two

Benin City, Edo State, was thrown into confusion on Tuesday when tipper drivers blocked major roads in the area to protest the alleged killing of one of their members by personnel of the Department of State Services.

The DSS operatives were said to be driving against traffic in two cars towards Tipper Garage, Ikpoba Slope, due to the gridlock caused by a broken down articulated vehicle.

The tipper drivers reportedly moved to the road to regulate traffic.

One of the protesters, Joseph Osaretin, said, “When our drivers identified the first vehicle as being occupied by the operatives, they allowed them to go, and asked an unmarked Audi to go back. This got the operatives angry and on getting down from their vehicle, they shot one of our drivers dead.

“When the drivers saw that their person was down, they went mad and that made the operatives shoot two other persons, who are in a critical condition in a hospital.”

It was gathered that the drivers later regrouped with placards, as they blocked major roads in the city.

Our correspondent learnt that the protesters drove hundreds of their vehicles to the DSS office, thereby blocking the entrance to the state police command and other security agencies in Benin.

An official of the 4 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Benin City, Brigadier General Sani Abdullahi, appealed for calm.

It was gathered that after a meeting between the executive of the tipper drivers and the DSS, three arrested tipper drivers were released.

An official of the DSS, who spoke on condition of anonymity, however, said the operatives were confronted by hoodlums who wanted to free some kidnap suspects.

He said, “We arrested three of their men who were involved in kidnapping and they decided to lay siege to us at the Tipper Garage by Tenboga Junction, to free them.

“The hoodlums, upon sighting the DSS operatives, pounced on them with guns and weapons. In the process, our operatives sustained varying degrees of injury, while our vehicles were also damaged.”

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