A trader named Ebere Chibuike was tragically killed by an unidentified police officer affiliated with the Imo police command at the Nazi Timbre and Allied Market in Owerri-North Local Government Area of the state.
According to witnesses, the incident happened on Monday while some operatives of the command were enforcing an arrest in the backyard of the industrial market.
The activity of the officers triggered the curiosity of some traders, who demanded to know the offence of the arrested suspect.
“A team of policemen came for an arrest of a suspect and, you know, carelessly, one of the traders sought to know why he was arrested,” a witness, who pleaded anonymity, told TheCable.
“One of them immediately pulled the trigger and shot dead a trader. The young man’s man is Ebere Chibuike, but he is popularly known in the market as Wazzi. He is from Onicha in Ezinihtte Mbaise LGA.”
“When they saw the trader was lying dead, they hurriedly zoomed off in the Hilux with the arrested suspect.
“I cannot see the reason why a policeman could be sporadically shooting in a marketplace where there are thousands of traders. What sort of policemen do we have in this state? This is totally unacceptable.”
Ezejiofor Elias, chairman of Owerri Building Material Association, also corroborated the information.
“I just got a call that a trader was shot dead by the police, and I immediately rushed to the market,” Elias said.
“But when I got here, I asked the traders around if the deceased committed any offence,” the chairman said.
“If the police cannot protect the lives and property they swore for, then we shall have a cause to see them as terrorists rather than enforcers of the law.
“Even if the deceased committed any crime, does it warrant his killing or jungle justice? What kind of a country are we in? We want nothing but justice on Wazzi’s killing.”
When contacted, Henry Okoye, the Imo police command’s spokesperson, said the information available on his desk exonerated police officers from the killing of the trader.
He added that the command was “still awaiting an official report from the DPO which will enable us to carry on with our investigation”.