Culled From Punch;
Preye, who is said to be the son of the Chairman of the Governing Board, National Youth Service Corps, Chief Gordon Bozimo, has been allegedly shot by suspected operatives of the Department of State Security in Bayelsa State.
Preye was said to have been shot in the stomach in Peretimi Hotels located at Imgbi Road, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, where he had lodged.
The victim alleged that the manager of the hotel hired operatives of the Department of State Security to shoot him.
He said on Sunday that three suspected DSS operatives were personally led by the manager of the hotel to deal with him and finally shoot him in the stomach.
It was learnt that following the incident, the hotel was shut down for about five days after some of the workers were arrested, detained and later released by the police.
Preye, who hails from Bomadi, Delta State, spoke in his hospital bed at the Surgical Ward of the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, where he is lying critically ill.
Preye, a building contractor and founder of Prezimo Global Resources, said he lodged in the hotel on September 30 with his cousin, Mr. Nathaniel Alaweremi.
But he said trouble started when he had an argument in the room with his cousin over some financial miscalculations.
The quarrel, he said, attracted the hotel manager whose office was located directly opposite their room.
Preye said, “Last week, Tuesday, I came into Yenagoa so, I went to Peretimi Hotel on Imgbi road. I got there and paid for a room. I had little argument with my cousin on monetary issues involving our construction.
“Our voices went high due to the little argument. The room I lodged in was opposite the manager’s office. She came and accused us of chasing one of her customers away because of our noise.
“She said we were so noisy and didn’t think we could stay in her hotel. So, we said no problem that she should refund our money to us. I approached her and told her that as a manager, she was not supposed to treat her customers like that. She immediately responded and said she would show me.”
Preye, who was writhing in pains, said the manager left them and shortly came back with three armed persons he identified as SSS operatives.
He added, “She left and came in with three SSS men. They were in suites and they wore glasses with two guns and a big riffle. Immediately, they asked my cousin to leave the room. They locked me inside.
“Everything looked suspicious to me because I know that it is not how to arrest a person. While I was trying to plead with the manager that the matter had not got to the level she took it, the SSS men punched on me.
“The next thing I heard was a shot and I realised it was on my stomach and I fell to the ground inside the room and they started hitting me. The other one said, ‘empty his pocket’ and they took all my money, my ATM cards, my wrist watch, pulled my trousers, took my shoes and my car key.
“It was a clear robbery. They now dragged me outside. I was on t-shirt and on boxer shorts. They dragged me through the pavements; all my ribs were paining me.
“Then they fired two shots into the air. When my cousin came to where I was lying, they threatened to shoot him on the leg.They took me into their bus and went away. When we got to the station, they put me on the ground and I was bleeding.”
When asked the name of the station he was taken to, he said, “I did not really no because I was dizzy but it was an SSS station. On the ground, I was bleeding and shouting everybody refused to attend to me.
“But when they saw the amount of blood coming out of my body they now decided to take me to the hospital. So, I was asking why they shot me like a common criminal. They said that they are security agents and they choose to do whatsoever they wish to do and that there is nothing I can do.”
The 32-year-old man said he lost all his valuables including about N100,000 to his attackers during the incident that happened between 12 and 2pm on the fateful day.
Preye continued, “They shot me in my stomach. One of the bullets went in and came out. The other bullet that went in, they still haven’t seen the bullet and the doctor here said I have to go for further check abroad because they have done their best.
“They said even if they see the bullet, they can’t operate it. So, this is the situation. These men were so confident of themselves because they said I can’t do anything. I think they have been doing this kind of thing.”
His cousin, Alaweremi, who corroborated the story, insisted that men of the DSS were persons hired by the hotel manager to beat and shoot his cousin.
He said, “The manager was laughing at my brother’s ordeal and she said that we got what we were looking for. My brother did nothing wrong. The doctors are saying that they couldn’t handle the case here and that he should be taken abroad. Where will the money come out from to run these expenses?”
Though the state Director, DSS, Mr. Dawa Everest, could not be reached for his comments, the Commissioner of Police, said he had yet to get details of the incident.