By Eyo Nse, Calabar,
A trader has been crushed to death in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
The street trader simply identified as Michael was crushed to death on Friday near Watt Market in Calabar, Cross River State, during an encounter with officials of the Department of Public Transportation, DOPT.
According to reports, the trader who is a father of five was asked by the DOPT officials to remove the shoes he had displayed for sale on the walkway by the post office when the tragedy occurred.
“As the man was removing his wares, the DOPT officials used their vehicle to knock him into the gutter.
“Before he came out of the gutter, they had taken his wares into their truck. As he prostrated and was pleading with them to release his goods, they used their vehicle to crush him to death,” an eyewitness who only gave her name as Lizzy said.
The official of the DOPT was nearly attacked by irate mob, as the incident sparked outrage and the officials escaped.
The mob later marched with the corpse strapped to the roof of a car from Old Calabar Road, where the incident happened, to the DOPT office, threatening to burn down the place, but they were stopped by a detachment of policemen.
The policemen blocked the road leading to the place and prevented the mob from getting to the DOPT office.
A senior police officer with the name tag ‘M. Horsefall’, led the team and tried to pacify the mob.
“It was the second time in a week that a trader would be battered or killed by DOPT men,” another eyewitness at the scene of the incident, alleged.
Godwin Nyiam, the Director General of the agency, said he had not been briefed about what happened as when contacted by our correspondent.
The Cross River 8th Assembly had recommended the scrapping of DOPT, which is non-revenue generating agency.
Also, a Facebook user, Ifere Paul wrote;
DOPT smatch a petty trader to death at Murtala Muhammad Highway.
According to information, the petty trader was just hustling when DOPT arrested him for hawking. As the youngman struggle and snatched his wares from them, they pursued and smatch him with their truck.
They left his body right where they killed him until a mob took the dead body to their office.
I thought there was a law passed by the CRHoA protecting street hawking?