Residents of Okwulaga Afaraukwu in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State yesterday took to the streets of Umuahia, the state capital, to protest against the killing of an indigene of the area by a trigger-happy police officer, identified as Collins Akpougo.
The protesters reportedly set the car abandoned by Akpougo, who is also a resident in the same community, ablaze.
Afaraukwu is the hometown of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
Akpougo, a police Sergeant said to be at large, it was gathered, is attached to the Special Protection Unit (SPU) of the Nigeria Police Force, Abia State command.
The protest saw youths of Okwulaga marched across major roads, chanting songs and carrying placards, causing traffic gridlock, Guardian writes.
A women leader from the community, Mrs. Ngozi Ogbonna, who led the protest, told journalists that the 21-year-old Chukwubuike Onuoha, was shot in front of his father’s compound on Monday night.
She said Onuoha was in company with other youths from the community when the policeman drove towards them in a Toyota Hilux van.
She said the cop reportedly flashed his van’s light on the youths, prompting Onuoha to urge him to dim his light. She added that rather than dim the van’s light, the police officer alighted from the vehicle and shot the deceased on the shoulder.
According to her, while the youths including the deceased’s elder brother tried to engage the policeman, he scared them away with his gun. He later reportedly shot the deceased a second time on the chest before abandoning his van at the scene and took to his heels.
“We know Collins very well, he is a tenant in our community. He killed our son for no just cause. He was confirmed dead at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, this morning (Tuesday). We have gone to the state government to complain, we are also going to the police command to express our grievances to them. All we want is justice in this matter,” she said.
Apart from the women, youths in the community also marched yesterday morning to the Central Police Station (CPS) in Umuahia.
They were reportedly dispersed by policemen with tear gas before blocking a section of the Umuahia-Bende Road, where the CPS is located.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Geoffrey Ogbonna, confirmed the incident, saying the Commissioner of Police, Okon Ene, had summoned a team, led by the Homicide Department of the State Criminal Investigation Department, to investigate the incident.
The Commissioner of Police noted that he had ordered the arrest of the suspect wherever he might be.