Riots broke out in parts of Benin City, Edo State on Tuesday following the death of a commercial bus driver identified as Sunny who was allegedly pushed to his death by a policeman.
The riots by the commercial bus drivers left many pedestrians stranded especially those going to Oregbeni market at Ikpoba-Hill from various parts of the city.
Five police Hilux vans and a truck belonging to the Edo State Government for its task force activities were set ablaze in different areas by the rioters.
The mobile court sitting at the Third Junction was disrupted by the rioters and everybody arrested for various offenses were set free before the vehicle they were kept was burnt.
Three other persons including a policeman were said to have been killed in the fracas that ensued.
Some policemen at the check point where the incident happened managed to escaped but witnessed said a policeman was lynched.
Transportation fares soared by over 200 percent from Third junction to Ikpoba-Hill or New Benin area and from Ring road to Ikpoba-Hill axis.
The deceased driver was said to have fixed his wedding for next week Saturday.
His fiancée who was in the bus with him when the incident happened along the Muritala Mohammed Way in Benin City was said to have gone into shock after narrating what happened.
An eye witness said she told sympathizers that the police demanded for money and the deceased offered N100 but the policemen insisted that it must be N200.
She reportedly said it was during an argument that the police pushed her fiancé into a moving truck which crushed his head and splattered his brains.
It was gathered that the incident happened at about 9am but sympathizers refused a reinforced team of policemen take away the body until about 12 noon when soldiers forcefully broke the barricade and took away the body.
Sources said the shooting of teargas angered the mob and they went after the police.
Attempts by the rioters to storm the Esigie Police barrack was rebuffed and two young men among the were said to have been shot.
The commercial drivers had to storm other motor-parks within the axis and forced them to join in the protest.
When contacted for comments, State Police Commissioner, Babatunde Kokumo, said the police has commenced investigation into the incident.
Kokumo stated that nobody has been able to state what actually happened except from hearsay evidence.
He said all eyewitnesses statements that have been obtained did not state categorically that they were present when the deceased was pushed by the policemen,
His words, “We are investigating the allegation. We want eye witness to give a proper account. Nobody has come out to say it was the police that pushed the man. The allegation was made against the police and we will investigate.”
“Investigation is ongoing it is unfortunate that it happened. Nobody has said he saw the policeman pushed the driver.”
On the killing of two rioters, the commissioner said he would also carry out detailed investigation because where the accident happened is a far place to where the two rioters were reportedly shot.
Kokumo said he would not tolerate the use of lethal weapon against unharmed civilians.