By MIRIAM ZARRIGA
FOUR police officers in Aitape, West Sepik, have been suspended after a man locked up in the police cell was allegedly shot seven times and died of bleeding and his injuries.
Provincial police commander Chief Insp Moses Ibsagi said the four officers had their weapons removed as well.
“Two regular officers and two auxiliary have been suspended from duty and their firearms have been retrieved pending investigations,” he said.
According to police, the man locked up had assaulted another man. He was taken out of the cell, hit several times on the head by the officers using their weapons and several other tools.
West Sepik Governor Anthony Wouwou said the man, Jonathan Alai So-ou, 29 and from Aitape, had allegedly assaulted retired public servant Daniel Maiyu.
The governor refuted claims by Supt Ibsagi that So-ou was trying to escape.
“He was not trying to escape, he was brought out of the cell, assaulted then threatened and shot four times, we have witnesses who were there and saw what had happened with their own eyes,” Wouwou claimed. “Maiyu is said to have been having an affair with So-ou’s mum prior to the assault. So’ou had warned Maiyu on several occasions to stay away from his mother.
“However, last Wednesday, So-ou saw Maiyu leaving the camp where the family home is and assaulted him.”
“Maiyu had to be taken to the hospital.”
So-ou surrendered to the police.
On July 25, Maiyu died from injuries he had sustained from the assault. Wouwou added that on the same day between 6pm and 7pm, five officers returned from Vanimo.
“Two were regular police while the other three were auxiliary, arriving in a White five-door vehicle, they went straight to the police cell, where they removed So-ou from the cell. Using a shock absorber removed from their vehicle and their rifles, they assaulted So-ou, hitting him several times on the head.
“As he lay in pain, they fired seven shots, So-ou was shot mostly below his waist,” he said.
“After the shooting, the police took him back into the police cell and left him bleeding for an hour.
“Then they took him and left him on the hospital bed with no relatives, he was attended by staff but died at 10pm.”
By MIRIAM ZARRIGA