The killing of unarmed civilians by men of the Nigerian Police in unexplainable circumstances is now assuming an alarmin rate as there’s hardly any day that we don’t hear of one shooting incident. Yesterday, wasn’t any different as a 35-year-old commercial bus driver in Nnewi, Anambra State was shot dead by a trigger-happy mobile policeman attached to one of the new generation banks in the industrial city for allegedly picking a passenger in front of the bank.
According to eye witness accounts, the victim, Mr Nnamdi Anigbogu from Imezi Owa, Ezagu, Enugu State, who plied Nnewi – Onitsha route, was said to have stopped in front of the bank to pick a passenger, an ill-fated action that the late Nnamdi didn’t know would lead to his early demise.
That allegedly infuriated the policeman who was attached as a security detail to the bank as the driver was hotly pursued by two of the police guards with a motorcycle until he (the driver) was double – crossed near St Mary’s Anglican Church Junction, Uruagu.
It was gathered that three tyres of the vehicle were allegedly deflated with bullets before he hot lead was pumped into Nnamdi’s forehead at close range. The incident, which happened around 1.00pm caused traffic bottleneck leading to a protest by members of Onitsha/Nnewi Brothers Union (drivers’ union) who made bon fires along Ezemewi Road up to Nwanyi Imo Bus stop before they were dispersed by the police who later arrested the suspect and took him to the state police command headquarters, Awka.
The mobile policeman, who fired the lethal shot, it was learnt, only escaped mob action with the intervention of the police from the Area Command, Nnewi Central Police Station and Central Vigilance group in the town. Speaking on the incident, the chairman of Onitsha/Nnewi Brothers Union, Mr Aloysius Onu said all the union demanded was justice.
“The suspect must be charged for murder and the family of the deceased must be compensated,” Mr Onu said. We just want to halt our protest until we see the way the case is going to be handled. If we are not satisfied with the way it is handled, we will not agree.
The incident was confirmed by Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Awka, Mr Ralph Uzoigwe, even though he admitted he was yet to get full details.