Gospel Gbaraka, a 28-year-old graduate of Accounting from Imo State University, was the breadwinner of his family before his life was cut short by a trigger-happy marine police officer attached to a private petroleum depot located at the Abonnema wharf part of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. He was shot on the head by Inspector James on Sunday, November 22, 2020.
Gbaraka, who hailed from Gwara in Khana Local Government Area of the state, was the only son of a family of three. His poor background was the reason he took up a security job in a private company, Bulk Strategic Reserve Limited, where the policeman also worked.
The reason the policeman killed the accountant is not yet known, however, some of his colleagues said he was an easygoing man.
One of the deceased’s colleagues who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity said, “I don’t know what really happened and the motive behind the killing. Gbaraka was very hardworking and calm. He related very well with everybody, so I am still in shock about why he should die that way. I cannot say whether he had an unresolved issue with the police officer that killed him.’’ He said the incident caused pandemonium in the company.
Speaking to our correspondent in Port Harcourt, the heartbroken father of the deceased, Innocent Gbaraka, said he was in church that fateful day when somebody informed him of the ugly incident.
“When someone came to inform me that my son, who left the house for work, was dead, I thought it was a joke until he took me to the Universityof Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), where I saw him in his uniform covered with blood.
When I asked the supervisor of the company where my son worked what happened, he told me that a policeman attached to the same company shot him dead,’’ he recounted.
The 62-year-old Gbaraka said he didn’t have any more reason to continue living, after his son’s death.
On the whereabouts of the policeman, he said, “When the investigating police officer told us that one Inspector James who killed my son was detained at the Mile1 police station, we went there to know what really happened. But instead of explaining the situation to us, we were harassed and beaten up. The policemen threw my wife and daughter out of the place. They said we should go to the marine police station.’
I don’t know why the policeman killed my son, but let justice prevail. I don’t have anybody else; that is why I haven’t stopped crying since the incident. My son was my only hope. He always cared for me and his mother. I am finished.
I want to hang myself because that is the best thing for me to do now. The only thing I am waiting for now is justice. If justice does not prevail, then I have nothing to continue living for. He was supposed to bury me, not me burying him,’’ she said.
Efforts to get a reason from the company where Gbaraka worked were not successful as nobody was willing to speak on the matter.
The Rivers State Police Command Public Relation Officer, SP Nnamdi Omoni speaking to our correspondent said that the police Inspector that shot and killed a security guard at Abonnema Wharf is undergoing orderlies room trial.
He said that at the end of the orderlies room trial the suspect will be dismissed if found guilty and charged to court.