On Tuesday, Department of State Services agents allegedly shot three tipper drivers in Benin, killing one and injuring the other two.
The event sparked outrage in the city, with tipper drivers blocking key highways in the vicinity in protest of the purported death of one of their colleagues by DSS agents.
According to reports, owing to a bottleneck caused by a broken down articulated vehicle, DSS operatives were driving against traffic in two automobiles towards Tipper Garage, Ikpoba Slope.
The tipper drivers are said to have moved to the road to help with traffic control.
“When our drivers recognized the first vehicle as being inhabited by the operatives, they allowed them to go and ordered an unmarked Audi to return,” stated one of the demonstrators, Joseph Osaretin. The operatives were enraged, and as they exited their car, one of our drivers was shot and killed.
“When the drivers saw their guy was down, they became enraged, prompting the operatives to kill two more people, both of whom are in serious condition in the hospital.”
Following the incident, the tipper drivers regrouped with placards and blocked major city roads.
Hundreds of demonstrators are said to have driven to the DSS headquarters, obstructing access to the state police command and other security services in Benin.
Brigadier General Sani Abdullahi of the Nigerian Army’s 4 Brigade in Benin City asked for calm.
After a meeting between the tipper drivers’ executive and the DSS, three arrested tipper drivers were also released.
The agents were challenged by hoodlums who wanted to liberate several abduction suspects, according to a DSS official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
“We apprehended three of their guys who were involved in abduction, and they decided to lay siege to us at the Tipper Garage at Tenboga Junction in order to rescue them,” he explained.
“When the hoodlums saw the DSS agents, they pounced on them with guns and weapons.” Our operatives were injured to varied degrees in the process, and our cars were also destroyed.”
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