Nigeria military deny say dia aircraft allegedly shoot civilian passenger boat near Port Harcourt

Boot wey military plane allegedly shoot

Wia dis foto come from, Godswill Jumbo

Nigeria Defence Headquarters don deny tori say di military fire one cargo boat wey bin dey carry pipo and goods from Port Harcourt for River state to Bonny Island.

For statement wey di Director Defence Information, Benjamin Olufemi Sawyerr sign, im explain say di Air component of di Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) bin get report from di ground troops wey bin dey do clearance operations say dem get resistance so dem send di combat helicopter to go support dem along Cawthorne Channel.

"Di helicopter encounter illegal oil bunkerers boat wey dey popularly called "Cotonou boat". Two speedboats bin dey escort di boat wey dey suspected to carry illegally refined oil products for larger drums along di Channel for di direction of di OPDS patrol boats.

As dem sight dem, dem fire warning shots to discourage di crew from hostile action but di crew fire back at di helicopter and dem engage di boat accordingly. "

Sawyerr say di two speedboats come run leave di Cotonou boat wey dem don neutralise, run comot from di convoy at high speed and di helicopter pursue di two speedboats but dem no fit track and dem don begin manhunt for di suspects to catch dem.

Eyewitness account

According to pipo wey carry eye see how e happun, di boat bin dey carry foodstuffs and oda goods dey go Bonny from di Nembe-Bille jetty for Port Harcourt.

One of di pipo wey bin dey inside di boat Awwal Rufai tell BBC Pidgin say;

Di incident happen for Dutch Island area, Okrika and two of dem get gunshot injury.

"Me na for my finger di bullet reach me but di oda man, di bullet hit am for im knee.

"Di oda boys wey dey di boat jump inside water."

Beach master for Bonny and owner of di boat, Wisdom Halliday tell BBC Pidgin say:

Di boat na market boat wey dey normally carry foodstuffs and market things from Port Harcourt to Bonny.

And na around 10am dem leave Port Harcourt with di goods dey come Bonny.

Wia dis foto come from, Godswill Jumbo

"Around 10am na im dem leave Port Harcourt. We normally carry market goods - food items plantain, building materials down to Bonny, dat na our business.

"So as dem dey come, around 12pm, dem call us say dia engine don spoil. We now send anoda engine to dem.

"Na for Dutch Island naim dem meet dem give dem di engine.

So as dem dey come, naim helicopter wit army camouflage come around, e turn around dem like three times and come close to dem very low.

Dem drop dia rope like say dem wan come down into into boat , but dem go back again come begin shoot dem.

Di oda boys wey dey inside di boat jump inside water but only dis two naim bullet catch.

Dis one na for im finger but di oda boy na for in leg, im still dey receive treatment for Okrika dia.

Dem report to police for Okrika wey give dem statement wey dem take go hospital so dem go attend to am."

Wia dis foto come from, Godswill Jumbo

Halliday say somebody for Dutch Island na im call pesin for Bonny to inform dem, di boat owners, wetin don happen so dem send boat to dem.

But before dem go reach dem, pipo from Dutch Island don rescue dem, rush di one wey get gun injury to Okrika for treatment and to get police report.

Halliday add say di pipo wey dey di boat na deck hands wey dey work wit am.

And di two pipo wey get gunshot injury na Awwal Rufai wit bullet injury for im finger while di oda pesin, Paul Jacob get gunshot wounds for im legs.

Di oda boys wey jump inside water too dey as dem don see dem for Okrika and all of dem dey go make official report for Marine Police headquarters for Abonnema Wharf.

Wia dis foto come from, Godswill Jumbo

Wia dis foto come from, Godswill Jumbo

"We don report to Marine Police for Bonny. Navy too dey aware and DSS for Bonny too dey aware.

"Dem don take statements from di boys.

"So now we dey go Marine Police Headquarters for Abonnema Wharf to go make formal complaint and dem too dey expect us."

Di Officer in Charge (O-i-C) of Marine Police Bonny, SP Solomon Adeniyi also tell BBC Pidgin say dem don receive report of di incident and dem don also begin to investigate di matter.

"We dey try to do our findings as we too just hear about am but we dey investigate. Our men dey head towards di place to find out." Na so im tok.

We don update dis tori.