The family of a boat driver who died in a shooting by suspected operatives of the Joint Military Task Force in Niger Delta, Operation Delta Safe, has demanded justice.
The family insists he was innocent.
Mr. Boluozimo Tulagha, 39, died on January 13, 2017 from three shots allegedly fired by operatives at the waterfront of Polaku community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The family of the deceased transport boat operator, who are protesting the alleged gruesome murder by security operatives, have expressed their anger and determination to receive justice.
It is yet to be ascertained why the boat driver, who had plied his trade in Polaku and environs for more than seven years, was shot dead.
But community sources, said that Boluozimo was contracted by a gang of hoodlums to help them carry some vegetables from Polaku to Odi in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the state.
They further said that unknown to the boat driver, items, suspected to be guns, were concealed in the sack of vegetables the gang hired him to ferry for them.
The sources claimed that operatives, acting on a tip-off, had laid ambush on the boat, and when the boat was about to sail, the security operatives opened fire, which allegedly led to the killing of the boat driver.
However, another source claimed that the boat driver felled by bullets from the troops when a gang of hoodlums, suspected to be gunrunners, engaged the JTF in a shootout.
It was learnt that after the incident, the troops arrested two members of the gang, who were said to have been detained by the operatives.
The father of Boluozimo, Rev. E.D. Tulagha, a cleric and former secondary school principal, claimed that his son was murdered in cold blood and that he did not have any history of criminality since he was born.
Leading the family members in a protest in Yenagoa, the octogenarian said the indiscriminate killing of his ‘innocent’ son was unacceptable.
He said the late Boluozimo had been driving speed boat for more than seven years and had never had any problem until some youths negotiated with him to make a trip to Odi.
Tulagha stated: “On January 13, 2017 when they were ready to move to Odi, Boluozimo went into the boat in order to warm the engine. The security men appeared with guns and recklessly shot Boluozimo’s leg.
‘’He then shouted with uplifted hands and said, ‘I am only a driver; I don’t know anything about them. Do not kill me’.
“But the operatives lodged another gunshot on side of his shoulder, shout and crying: :Don’t kill me, I am ignorant of anything they are doing.”