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NDLEA: Delta youth group vows to ensure justice for late Ivan

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has come under severe attack following the killing of a two-year old boy, Ivan Omhonria, during a raid on an illicit drug joint in Okpanam area of Delta State by operatives of the agency.

The child was hit by a stray bullet while eating corn in his mother’s shop within the area where the anti-narcotic agents carried out the operation.

Shards of glasses shattered by the bullet crashed on Ivan’s younger brother, Eromonsele, who had his left eye operated on already.

Reacting to the shooting incident, youths in Delta State under the umbrella of Anioma Youth Forum Worldwide (AYF-W) vehemently condemned the tragic killing.

AYF-W in a statement by its publicity secretary, Elvis Ekwukwo, said the NDLEA officials were reckless with arms.

“The killing of the child and the injury inflicted upon another innocent child by the stray bullet from the barrels of NDLEA operatives during an operation to apprehend illegal drug dealers and consumers is an outrageous and deeply distressing event.

“Such a blatant display of unprofessionalism, where firearms are handled carelessly, resulting in the loss of innocent lives, is an occurrence that has become a recurring decimal and must not be tolerated any longer.

“This position has become pertinent recalling how a young man was murdered in the presence of his wife by some men of the Nigerian police force some months ago.

“Although the police hierarchy apprehended and promised to prosecute the culprits, no compensation was paid to the family to alleviate their inevitable suffering owing to the demise of the breadwinner of the family.

“Consequently, AYF-W urgently calls upon all relevant stakeholders, particularly the top hierarchy of the NDLEA and Nigerian Police Force, to initiate a thorough investigation into this incident and ensure that justice is served for the untimely death of Ivan.

“Moreso, the wanton disregard for safety and professional best practices demonstrated by certain operatives in Delta State demands immediate attention, as it has become an alarming and recurring pattern within law enforcement agencies across the state and it has to stop.

“It is imperative that the NDLEA and other law enforcement agencies uphold the highest standards of professionalism and adhere strictly to international best practices in combating crimes as we believe and strongly so too that it is better to allow a fleeing criminal to escape than cutting short the lives of our people in an attempt to apprehend criminals,” Ekwukwo stated.

Extending condolences to the bereaved family, the youth body vowed to spare no effort in advocating for justice via prosecution of the killer officers and ensuring adequate compensation.

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