- A business, Chinonso Onyeme, was on Tuesday, August 7, shot dead by a police operative in Awka, Anambra state capital
- An eyewitness of the sad development, Ngini Ebelechukwu, reported to newsmen that the 30-year-old victim was killed by the security operative who belongs to the Metro Patrol Police, Awka
- The police public relations officer, Haruna Mohammed, said that the force would investigate the development and prosecute the suspect
There was confusion at Agulu, in the Awka area of Anambra state on Tuesday, August 7, following the death of a businessman, Chinonso Onyeme, who was allegedly shot dead by a bribe-seeking police operative.
Punch reported that the 30-year-old Onyeme was with his friends in a Toyota Sienna when the incident happened in the afternoon.
One of Onyeme's relatives informed newmen that the victim died at the Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku, where he was rushed to for treatment.
Ngini Ebelechukwu (29 years), an eyewitness of the sad incident, said the victim was shot by a security official who belong to a team of 10 bribe-seeking policemen in two navy blue Hilux vans with the inscriptions ‘Metro Patrol Police', Awka.’
Ebelechukwu, whose vehicle had been previously stopped by the policemen, said he had been held for about 20 minutes as the officers insisted on collecting a bribe from him. He said it was at the same time that Onyeme was shot dead by one of them.
The witness said: “I am a sales rep for a table water company. My driver and I were travelling from Awka to Okwo to deliver cartons of table water to a customer when the policemen stopped our Ford bus.
“They demanded the vehicle documents and the driving licence of my driver, which we gave them. They looked at the licence and said it expired in July. I told them that it was just seven days into the new month and the process to get a new one had begun.
“However, they were not satisfied and rudely demanded that I gave them money. I pleaded with them, but they said I was talking trash.
“They said if I did not give them anything, they would take me to their station. In anger, I asked my driver to turn so that they could take us to the station. I told them that I wanted to know my offence. When they saw that I was ready to assert my rights, they refused to take us to the station.”
He went on to say that despite telling the policemen that his business was time-bound and he could lose his customer if they did not release him on time, they were adamant.
Ebelechukwu explained that while waiting, a Mercedes-Benz approached and one of the policemen cocked his rifle and aimed at the car.
He stated: “His colleagues shouted that there was a policeman in the car and he stopped. The same policeman that cocked his gun heard my altercation with his colleagues.
"He said I was talking as if I wanted to slap their oga (boss) and that if I did not slap their oga, he would slap me. I told him that it was not true and if he wanted to slap me, he should go ahead.
“You need to see the way they were harassing motorists. They were rudely demanding bribes from people and had confrontation with more than six motorists.
“While I was talking, a Toyota Sienna left a filling station almost opposite to where the policemen were. The driver drove slowly; but to my shock, the policeman who had attempted shooting at the Mercedes-Benz stood in front of the Sienna.
"He aimed his rifle at the vehicle and fired a shot. He was not under any threat or attack and the vehicle was not speeding. I have never witnessed such a thing in my life.”
The witness said one of the occupants, who had bloodstains on his clothes, ran out and started screaming that his friend (Onyeme) had been hit by a bullet.
Ebelechukwu said: “I asked the policeman who fired the shot why he shot and he said, ‘If you take a step closer, I will kill you.’ The policeman holding my vehicle documents threw them at me as they hopped into their vans and fled.
“As they were leaving, some people pursued their vans. The brother of the victim told me that they had just eaten at a restaurant at Agbolo and were going to Awka. He called me later that the man was dead.”
It was gathered the victim's family members took his remains to the central police station.
Haruna Mohammed, the police public relations officer, said that the force would investigate the development
Mohammed said:“The command will investigate this alleged professional misconduct and deal decisively with any police officer found wanting in accordance with laid down procedure.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com reported that the police command in the FCT had arrested and dismissed a policeman who allegedly killed an NYSC member, Angela Igwetu, in Abuja.
NAIJ.com reported that Igwetu, who was allegedly shot around Ceddi Plaza by a police officer, was rushed to the Garki Hospital where she died.
The commissioner of police, Sadiq Bello, disclosed this while addressing newsmen on the incident in Abuja.
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