The children, Ivan Omhonria and Eromonsele, had just returned from school to their mother’s….
By Johnson Atoukudu
According to reports, a tragic incident occurred in Okpanam, Oshimili North Local Government Area, Delta State, where stray bullets fired by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) resulted in the death of a two-year-old child and injury to their sibling. The incident took place during an NDLEA operation targeting a notorious drug joint in the area on Thursday.
The children, Ivan Omhonria and Eromonsele, had just returned from school to their mother’s shop when they were unfortunately struck by the stray bullets. Ivan sustained a gunshot wound to the abdomen, while Eromonsele was grazed on the eye by a bullet. Both victims were rushed to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Asaba for medical attention, but Ivan sadly did not survive.
The State Commandant of the NDLEA, Mr. John Tunde, acknowledged the incident but denied that his men intentionally fired at the children. He emphasized that his operatives would not act unprofessionally by opening fire on a shop. According to him, during the raid on the drug joint, there was a Toyota Camry parked nearby, which fled the scene and accidentally struck one of the NDLEA operatives.
Tunde said: “In attempts to demobilise the car, our men shot at it. What we cannot tell now is whether the children were inside the car at the time of the shooting. Our men did not open fire at any shop. As we speak now, the man who the car ran over, is at the Central Hospital in Ogwashi-Uku.
Our attempt to stop the car was not successful as he escaped.” He said he was at the hospital in the night with the father of the child.