There were tragic scenes in Okwelle in the Onuimo Local Government Area of Imo State on Friday when a trigger happy police sergeant, Abu Itam, shot and killed a 20-year-old tipper conductor.
The incident, which occurred around 5am at T – junction, adjacent to the Okwelle Police Divisional headquarters, triggered a strong reaction from irate youths who were placated by senior police officers in the state including the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Abdulahi Kurawa and the state Police Public Relations Officer, Andrew Enwerem.
Punch reports that trouble began when Itam and three of his colleagues who were on a stop and search duty on the expressway asked the tipper driver with registration number AAH 229 XA and other vehicles, including trucks, to clear off the road.
Moments later, the suspect asked other vehicles to go, leaving only the tipper which the deceased and his driver, Ifeanyi Nwankwo were in.
The conductor then approached the trigger-happy cop to query him on why he was still keeping them, only for him to be shot three times on his neck at a close range before his assailant fled the scene.
It was at this point that irate youths regrouped and attacked Okwelle Police Divisional headquarters.
The driver of the tipper claimed that the sergeant intentionally killed his conductor, even as the father of the deceased called for justice to be done.
Meanwhile, the Imo state commissioner of police, Chris Ezike, said the killer cop had been arrested.
“From the preliminary investigation, the shooting was unprofessional. I have therefore asked the state CID to take over the investigation.
“The suspect and the riffle are with us but most importantly, my heart goes out to the family of the deceased. I also want to urge the youths not to take laws into their hands.”