Barely 24 hours after a taxi driver fleeing police arrest allegedly crushed a Dr. Stella Okotie, a lecturer in the University of Benin (UNIBEN) to death, police authorities in Edo State have scrapped check-points it mounted on Ugbowo axis of the Benin-Ore-Lagos Expressway which caused the woman’s death on Monday night.
Investigation revealed that policemen near the University’s main gate where the operatives regularly mount roadblock for a stop-and-search of vehicles, has disappeared; Just as the barricade that was erected by the operatives, had been removed.
The spot which is usually characterized by long queues, was devoid of long occasioned by the presence police check-points.
Besides, the other lane of the dual-carriage way by Christ Apostolic Church on Benin-Lagos road, was devoid of police presence.
Mrs. Okotie was reportedly knocked to death by a commercial bus driver who was allegedly pursued by one of the policemen at a check point near the University’s main gate.
The driver who was identified as Anuk Adisa lost control of his mini-bus after the policeman allegedly dragged steering with him, according to reports.
The bus, Marked: “Ten-461-ZY” was said to have crashed into the lecturer, his husband, Dr. Williams Okotie who is also a staff of the school and their son Ochuko.
The family were reportedly standing by the roadside at about 7.pm on Monday when the tragedy struck.
Mr. Williams was said to have also sustained injury in the accident.
Mrs. Stella’s death sparked a spontaneous protest by sympathizers and road users on Monday.
The angry protesters barricaded the expressway, stopped movement of vehicles, and took turns to lament alleged police extortions on the road.
Some miscreants who hijacked the protest, descended on the police team leader at the check point, Inspector David Uwagboe.
The miscreants were said to have inflicted injuries on the policeman and held him hostage.
It was gathered that Uwaboe’s wife intervention prevented the mob from taking further action against the policeman as his wife lay on the floor and asked the mob to take her life in place of her husband.
Spokesman of the State police Command, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor who confirmed the incident, said “the reckless driver is in police custody”.
Nwabuzor said: “While operatives of Ugbowo police division were conducting a stop-and-search, a team sighted a Suzuki bus with number plate TEN 461 ZY, being driven dangerously towards them.
“The policemen flagged the driver down, but he refused and unfortunately hit one Mrs. Stella Okotie and another person by the roadside”.