A heartbreaking incident unfolded in Okpanam, Oshimili North Local Government Area, Delta State, as stray bullets fired by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) resulted in the tragic death of a two-year-old child and the injury of their sibling. The distressing event took place during an NDLEA raid on a notorious drug joint in the area on Thursday.
According to eyewitness accounts, the deceased child, Ivan Omhonria and his younger sibling, Eromonsele, had just returned from school to their mother’s shop when they were hit by stray bullets. Ivan was hit on his abdomen while the bullet brushed Eromonsele on the eye. The victims were rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Asaba for treatment, but sadly, Ivan could not survive it.
The State Commandant of the NDLEA, Mr. John Tunde confirmed the incident but insisted that his men did not open fire on the children. He said there was a Toyota Camry parked within the precincts when his men stormed the drug joint to raid and dislodge the place. He said that the Camry ran over one of the operatives while escaping.
“In attempts to demobilize 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 stated.
This tragic incident has sparked outrage among residents of Delta State and has raised concerns about the conduct of NDLEA operatives during their operations.