Sunday, June 20, 2021 is a day many people in Enugu will never forget. That day, a police inspector whose identity has yet to be revealed woke up, grabbed his AK-47 rifle and went on a shooting spree, killing people at a lotto firm and the manager’s residence. The firm is at Plot H/38 while the manager’s residence is located at H/44 both in Golf Estate, Enugu State.
The neighbourhood had thought that robbers or gunmen were in the vicinity. The trigger-happy cop also killed a guard attached to the dwelling.
Some survivors, who spoke with Sunday PUNCH, narrated their ordeals in the mindless attack that lasted at least 20 minutes.
A lady, identified simply as Elizabeth, stated that she was saved by her elder sister, Susana and a co-worker who shielded her with their bodies as the policeman fired bullets.
Elizabeth said, “Around 9am on that day, I was outside washing clothes and doing other house chores when suddenly there were gunshots. I didn’t know the direction it was coming from. As I stood to go inside, my sister, Susana, who was later killed, dragged me inside our room in the boys quarter. She reprimanded me saying, ‘don’t you hear the gunshots coming from the main house?
“My sister Susana and I, with another lady, hid inside the room. Suddenly, one of our sisters, Christina, ran inside with a bullet wound. She ran under the bed while three of us lay on the bed covering ourselves. We prayed and asked the Almighty God to spare our lives. Unfortunately, the cop returned, shot at the window and the bullets hit us where we hid. The bodies of my sister and the other lady shielded me. The bullets only hit me on the elbow in one hand and upper arm. Two of them died immediately because he riddled their bodies with bullets.”
She added, “Christina hid under the bed in her pool of blood from the shot on her chest and my sisters lay on top of me in a pool of blood. The cop called our names to know whether anyone was still alive so that he could complete the job. He said, ‘Susana! Susana! come out if you are alive. Elizabeth! come out if you are alive.’ When he didn’t hear any voice, then I heard him calling another policeman on the phone to come, saying that some gunmen came to the neighbourhood but he killed two of them.”
Christina, who sustained a wound on her chest is receiving treatment at the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Parklane, corroborated Elizabeth’s narration when our correspondent visited her at the clinic.
She noted that when they came for work on Saturday around 9pm the policeman switched off the light and turned off the water in the house while they were still working.
“Although we don’t know the reason for his action, we didn’t ask him. Around 9am, we heard gunshots. He first shot the gateman, Joshua, before coming inside the compound. Also, he shot the chef but missed him; he then shot me three times while I was running to hide. The bullet hit me on the upper chest and my right hand,” she said.
She further said that when policemen attached to the Special Tactical Squad arrived at the scene, he told them the house was attacked by gunmen.
She added, “He was praising God that he killed two of the suspected gunmen before our chef whom he thought he had killed shouted from his hiding place that he (police inspector) was the gunman shooting and killing everybody.”
Another worker at the Lotto firm, who gave her name only as Rose, described the killings as mindless and unprovoked.
Rose, who also gave details of some of the victims, said four of the nine victims were girls from Cotonou, Benin Republic. She said two of them died while two survived and are in a hospital. It was gathered that three others were from the North; two died and one is in hospital while among two from the East, one died and the other is in a hospital.
She said, “One of those killed, Aunty Susana, is our boss’s home help and one of the home help. The second girl came a few weeks back and they were all from Cotonou, Benin Republic. All the girls working inside our boss’ house came from Cotonou. The two girls that died immediately were also from Cotonou. The two gatemen, Joshua and Abdul, may be from the North. One other person, also a Hausa, is in the hospital.
“He killed people inside our oga (boss) house and came out and killed a gateman in another house. “After my friend’s husband, Mr Ndubeze Orji died, it brought the deaths to five.’’
Asked about the name of the police inspector, she said “I don’t know his name but we call him officer MOP.”
Rose alleged that one of the victims, Ndubueze Orji, died after he was rejected by a hospital he was rushed to.
She said “Such behaviour by hospitals in Nigeria was callous and should be looked into. Hospitals should concern themselves first with saving lives before any other consideration. Orji’s death was too painful because efforts were made to save his life but hospitals frustrated it.
“Though he was given first aid and bandaged, his intestine was out and they said they couldn’t treat him. From there, we took him to the 82 DIV Nigerian Army Hospital. We couldn’t open the door and we took him to Parklane where a man advised us to take him to Niger Foundation Hospital. Unfortunately, when we got there they also rejected him before we returned to Parklane. Unfortunately, he died before we got there. On arrival, three doctors confirmed him dead.
“When Orji was shot, he cried as he ran to the road and cried for help. Some people took him to hospital. Other people the cop shot were either inside the house or inside the drainage near the gate on the day of the incident.’’
When our correspondent visited the late Orji’s house in the area, the widow, Mrs Oluchi Orji, was visibly distressed.
Sympathisers were seen consoling her and raining curses upon the killer cop.
While narrating the incident to our correspondent, Oluchi said, “The policeman that works at a white man’s house was the man that killed my husband.
He just woke up in the morning and started shooting everybody in the compound. He didn’t know that some people he shot didn’t die. They only pretended they were dead. He went to the gate and shot the security guard dead. After that, he came outside and shot another security guard opposite the house.
“Thereafter, he shot at anyone he saw. While the shooting lasted, we didn’t know who was shooting.
We locked our gate and my husband was washing clothes. So when the shooting stopped, my husband opened our gate and saw the police inspector. He went to ask him what was going on because we know him as a neighbour. We used to stay with the man and discussed, talked and laughed. He is neither a drunk nor a smoker.
“He used to come to my shop and buy things from me. When my husband opened the gate and asked him who was shooting, he immediately opened fire on him. He just shattered my husband. He shot him three times. My husband ran to the road calling for help but nobody helped him. Two boys later saw my husband, carried him to their car and took him to a hospital. Unfortunately, the first hospital they went to rejected my husband and the second didn’t allow them to take him in. They also took him to another hospital which also refused to treat him before they took him to the Enugu State Teaching Hospital ESUT Parklane. Unfortunately, immediately after they reached the hospital gate, he died.”
On whether the man was under the influence of alcohol, she said “this man is not mad. Nothing is wrong with him.”
She disclosed in tears that the killer cop hated activities of Biafra agitators in the South-East, describing them as miscreants.
Oluchi, a mother of four and a housewife, appealed to the governments of Enugu and Abia states to come to her aid by helping her four children rendered fatherless by the killer cop.
“I am a housewife; I am not doing anything. I can’t train the children without doing anything. I don’t have money let alone send them to school. Government should please help me so that I can train my children and eat.”
The widow noted that her children had been asking her about their father. “And on each occasion, I tell them that he travelled. How long will I continue to tell them?”
Another worker, who gave her name only as Juliet told Sunday PUNCH that the police inspector was stopped by a policeman who swiftly disarmed him.
Juliet stated that one of the victims, who fell into a gutter after the cop shattered his legs with a bullet, contacted his brother who alerted a policeman attached to the Special Tactical Squad.
Meanwhile, a younger sister of Oluchi, Ogechi has called for justice to be served in this matter.
She said, “All my family and I want is justice to be served in this matter. He should explain what made him shoot people he is supposed to protect. I heard that among the people he killed was a pregnant woman. The police should take care of my sister because as it is now she is not working and they have killed the family’s breadwinner.’’
Reacting to the incident, the Enugu State Police Command said that it had begun investigation into the incident.
The police spokesperson in the state, Daniel Ndukwe, told our correspondent that the Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Aliyu, set up an investigation team led by Deputy Commissioner of Police in-charge of the state Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department to carry out a thorough investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the shooting.
He said, “Rest assured that no stone would be left unturned in this investigation. The police inspector involved in the shooting was attached to Special Protection Unit Base 9, Umuahia, Abia State and said to be on duty at RC Lotto Company located in the Golf Estate.”
On why the command did not disclose his name, Ndukwe said, “Investigation will reveal his name. He has been arrested and taken into custody. We are awaiting the conclusion of the investigation.”
Source: The PUNCH