Following an argument over N200 ticket levy, a man attached to a taskforce team in Rivers State has allegedly punched a tricycle driver identified as Esikak Esieme to death.
NIGERIACRIME gathered that the incident happened in the Ogbogoro axis of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
According to an eyewitness, the deceased had explained to the taskforce officials that he didn’t have the amount they required him to pay when they waved him to stop.
The eyewitness said Esikak was conveying a passenger when the incident happened.
Esikak’s inability to pay the levy caused an argument with the taskforce officials, leading one of them who is alleged to be a cultist identified as ‘Osisi’ to punch the 39-year-old keke driver who slumped immediately.
He was reportedly rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Some of the colleagues of the deceased man began a protest to express their grievances and the daily harassment they suffered from Osisi and his men.
The angry tricycle operators temporally shut down operations and marched from Ogbogoro to the complex of a popular Radio Station (Cool/Wazobia/Info FM) in Port Harcourt, demanding justice for their late colleague.
The President of the Tricycle Union in Ogbogoro Community, Ivumba Friday, who recounted what led to the death of Esikak, alleged that Osisi and others made life uncomfortable for the keke drivers.
The chairman lamented that the suspect had several unleashed thugs on keke riders and added that they once molested a vigilante group codenamed OSPAC in Ogbogoro without any attempt to arrest them.
He stated, “Nsikak Esieme was murdered this morning by one Osisi, a cultist that has been terrorising Ogbogoro and our people on a daily basis. We have been reporting this matter to OSPAC, even to the police.
“Somebody should come and arrest this particular hoodlum that has been terrorizing keke people. The OSPAC will aid the Osisi in question to escape. Many times he used to break their windscreen in Ogbogoro.
“Our keke people are law-abiding and they pay their levies on a daily basis. Up till now that I speak to you, we don’t know the whereabouts of the corpse of our member that died.”
Speaking on behalf of the family, the deceased’s elder brother, Lucky Esieme, demanded the release of his late brother’s corpse to the family.
The brother who spoke while fighting back tears said, “When I left work to my house. I saw my younger brother’s wife in my house telling me that on the way he carried a passenger to Ogbogoro junction.
“Reaching there the task force people asked him to give them N200. He told them he just came out and that he hasn’t worked From there they hit my brother in the stomach.
“He fell down, and they rushed him to the hospital. Later they said they took him out of the hospital. Till now, I don’t know where his corpse is. I want to see my brother’s body and know how we will bury him.”
When contacted, the spokesperson of the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, said she was yet to receive a report on the incident, as she has been in a marathon meeting.
She, however, promised to find out from the Ogbogoro Police Division and revert, but had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report on Thursday evening.