The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has said it is investigating the alleged killing of a two-year-old boy by its operatives during a raid at a drug joint in Delta State, South-south Nigeria.
The boy, Ivan Omorhiakogbe, was hit by a “stray bullet” during an operation by NDLEA officers at the Okpanam area of Asaba, the state capital.
In a statement on Saturday, Femi Babafemi, Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA headquarters in Abuja, said a panel of top agency officials has been set up to visit the state for an on-the-spot investigation.
Mr Babafemi posted the statement on Twitter.
Explaining what led to the incident, Mr Babafemi said that its operatives were conducting a raid at a notorious drug dealer in the area on Thursday when a Toyota Camry zoomed off and knocked down one of its officers, whom it claimed is in “critical condition” in a hospital.
“In a bid to demobilise the car and prevent it from escaping, another officer fired a shot aimed at the tire of the vehicle, which eventually escaped.
“While the injured officer was rushed for treatment, the Officers got a report of a stray bullet hitting a young person and immediately located the father of the victim, followed him to the hospital, and supported in facilitating his treatment, but he, unfortunately, died in the process,” Mr Babafemi said.
The agency said it was in touch with the deceased’s family and assured the public that it would get to the root of the matter and take necessary actions.
Meanwhile, Governor Sheriff Oborevwori has condemned the killing of the two-year-old boy and called on the NDLEA authorities and the police in the state to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the boy in order to bring the “culprits” to book and prevent future occurrences.
In a condolence message to the deceased’s family, the governor described the loss of the child as “tragic, painful, and grievous.”
“I condemn this unfortunate incident because no matter the provocation, armed security men must operate within the standard procedure as enshrined in their rules of engagement,” the governor said.
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