The Edo State Police Command has apprehended a vigilante member suspected of shooting and wounding nine youngsters playing football in the street in Benin City.
Abdurahma Agbontaen was arrested for attempted murder and unauthorised possession of a handgun. He is a member of the Edo Vigilante organisation.
According to reports, the suspect fired aggressively at youngsters playing football on Enabulele Street in Ogida Quarters on April 23, 2022.
SP Bello Kontongs, the command’s spokesperson, verified the event and stated that the wounded children were sent to Stella Obasanjo Hospital for treatment.
“On April 23, 2022, at around 09.00 a.m., in response to a distress call, one Abdurahma Agbontaen of Enabulele Street, Benin was detained for firing at children playing football on the street,” the statement stated.
“He attacked the children with a pump-action automatic pistol, and nine of them had varying degrees of injury and were sent to Stella Obasanjo Hospital for treatment. The suspect was apprehended and the handgun was seized.”
The suspect stated that he had advised the youngsters to refrain from playing football after they had harmed his property earlier.
When they disobeyed him, he raced inside his house, grabbed his unlicensed gun, and opened fire on the youngsters, hurting nine of them.
“I pleaded with them to stop playing football in my neighbourhood, but they refused. They have smashed stuff in my house with the ball, which is why I warned them. I requested that they relocate, but they refused. I fired the revolver in rage, suspecting they were members of a secret club. I regret it now and am grateful that no one was killed.”
Dr Osaheni Igbinigie, the Head of the Egor Local Government Administration and Acting Council Chairman, who was at the hospital to visit the injured children, characterised the situation as horrific.
“We want the police to conduct an investigation into the occurrence and guarantee that the proper course of action is taken,” Igbinigie stated.
SP Kontong stated that the suspect’s mental health will be monitored throughout the inquiry.
“The suspect will face charges of attempted murder and criminal possession of a firearm in court,” he added.