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Protests in Benin as DSS officers shoots 3 tipper drivers, kills one



DSS operatives

Operatives of the Department of State Services allegedly shot 3 tipper drivers in Benin, on Tuesday, leaving one dead and the other 2 injured.

The incident caused an uproar in the city as tipper drivers blocked major roads in the area to protest the alleged killing of one of their members by the DSS personnel.

According to reports, the DSS operatives were said to be driving against traffic in two cars towards Tipper Garage, Ikpoba Slope, due to the gridlock caused by a broken down articulated vehicle.

The tipper drivers reportedly moved to the road to regulate traffic.

One of the protesters, Joseph Osaretin, said, “When our drivers identified the first vehicle as being occupied by the operatives, they allowed them to go, and asked an unmarked Audi to go back. This got the operatives angry and on getting down from their vehicle, they shot one of our drivers dead.

“When the drivers saw that their person was down, they went mad and that made the operatives shoot two other persons, who are in a critical condition in a hospital.”

After the incident, the tipper drivers later regrouped with placards, blocking major roads in the city.

The protesters reportedly drove hundreds of their vehicles to the DSS office, thereby blocking the entrance to the state police command and other security agencies in Benin.

An official of the 4 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Benin City, Brigadier General Sani Abdullahi, appealed for calm.

Three arrested tipper drivers were also released after a meeting between the executive of the tipper drivers and the DSS.

An official of the DSS, who spoke on condition of anonymity, however, said the operatives were confronted by hoodlums who wanted to free some kidnap suspects.

He said, “We arrested three of their men who were involved in kidnapping and they decided to lay siege to us at the Tipper Garage by Tenboga Junction, to free them.

“The hoodlums, upon sighting the DSS operatives, pounced on them with guns and weapons. In the process, our operatives sustained varying degrees of injury, while our vehicles were also damaged.”