Police stray bullets kill 2 in Enugu
From PETRUS OBI, Enugu
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Policemen in Enugu who went for an arrest have ended up killing, at least two innocent persons while two others, who also sustained bullet wounds are currently receiving treatment at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu .
The five-man police team went to arrest one Obiora Utondu of 23 Ochi Street , Achara Layout but failed to effect the arrest as the suspect reportedly turned violent, using a machete to inflict serious injury on one of the policemen.
The police in turn opened fire and in the process innocent passersby were gunned down and others wounded.
One of the victims was identified as Augustine Osita Obe, a 25-year-old trader at Timber Market, Maryland , Enugu, while the identities of the others among them an Okada rider, who also lost his life, were not disclosed.
Obe hailed from Amachalla, Enugu-Ezike in Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu State and was said to have just completed his secondary education before delving into buying and selling of plywood. .
It was gathered that the five-man team, led by one Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Ituma Ituma, from the Uwani Police Division who had gone for the arrest met a strong resistance.
Irked by the alleged recalcitrance of the suspect who allegedly displayed dangerous weapons including a machete, the security operatives were said to have opened fire, shooting sporadically and in the process, one of the bullets hit the young Obe on the chest, killing him instantly. Other victims had similar gun wounds.
An eye-witness told our reporter in Enugu that the incident occurred along Ochi Street in Enugu metropolis when the victims were returning from their day?s businesses before running into the scene of the police shooting.
When visited, the residence of one of the deceased at Agbani Road , Enugu , scores of sympathizers were seen consoling the parents of the victim, who threatened to prosecute the police officers in court until justice was done.
Meanwhile, the bodies of the victims have been deposited at the Eastern Medical Centre, Enugu, waiting police autopsy.
It was learnt on Wednesday at the Uwani Police Station that the five member police team was already in cell waiting for interrogation. When contacted the Enugu Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Ebere Amaraizu only confirmed the death of one person.
Said he; ?A case of assault was reported against one Obiora Utondu, a case of wounding in which he inflicted injury on one Pastor Jude Utondu of 23 Ochi street. Based on this the police went in to arrest Obiora who became violent and used machete on a police Corporal, Hycinth Ugwu. The suspect also went ahead to break the windscreen of the police Hilux van.?
Amarizu said in an attempt to demobilize the violent Obiora the policemen reportedly opened fire and in the process an innocent victim was killed.
He said the police corporal was receiving treatment in hospital and that investigation was on.
He said the State police command was not taking the incident lightly especially with the murder of an innocent citizen, assuring that justice would be brought to bear on the matter.