Emotions ran wild on Saturday at Ebebelibiri Cemetery, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, as family members and sympathisers gathered to bury the remains of Master Innocent Kokorifa, a 17-year-old boy allegedly killed by police.
Innocent, the first of five children of Mr. Daniel Kokorifa, an official of the Federal Road Safety Corps, was shot dead in a controversial circumstance by the police Anti-Vice/Anti-Kidnapping team along Airforce Road in Yenagoa, on August 18, 2016.
The deceased was said to be running an errand for his mother, Pere Kokorifa, when he was allegedly killed by the police about 11am on that day. But the state police command had, in a statement shortly after the incident, claimed that the victim died in a gun battle between a three-man robbery gang and the police team.
It was reported the killing and done follow-ups on the matter till date.
At the funeral, it was observed the presence of the deceased’s parents, siblings, friends, officials of the FRSC and some human rights activists.
Earlier, the relatives received Innocent’s corpse at the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, where an autopsy had been conducted.
Sympathisers at the funeral, which started around 9am, cried profusely when the casket was opened for people to see.
Father of the deceased, Daniel Kokorifa, who wore a forlorn look, was speaking in hushed tones with some sympathisers. His wife, Rose, cried uncontrollably and was consoled by wailing relatives.
Kokorifa, who stuttered as he spoke to a few journalists at the funeral, said he was optimistic that the killers of his son would pay dearly for his murder.
He said, “If the judge feels that how they killed my son is okay, they will go scot-free, but if the judge says no, definitely, that trigger-happy policeman will pay dearly for the murder.
“I know the person that killed my son very well. He is a police officer. In Abia State, he killed somebody and was locked up for nine months before he was released. The same person came to kill my son again.’’