By Anayo Okoli
Umuahia – THE four people killed on Monday,Â by the Abia State police command have been confirmed not to be armed robbers but people engaged in different trades in Umuahia, Abia State capital.
Those killed are Chibueze Ibezem, about 36 years, a trader;Â Mr. Nlewe Azunna, about 40, a panel beater with five children; Mr. Innocent Punjab, about 30 and a motor mechanic, as well as Aki Imade, a police constable attached to a hotel in Umuahia, who escorted the vehicle in which they rode.
The police had on Monday, said that its men killed four suspected criminals as part of its effort to rid the state of criminals and had also paraded the corpses of the four slain men,Â who they claimed were gunned down at Isialangwa North Local Government Area of the state,Â during an alleged shoot out with some mobile policemen.
The police had claimed that the suspects refused to stop when flagged down and alleged that the occupants of the vehicle rather opened fire on them with AK 47 riffle from inside the Montero Jeep, with Registration number AJ 501 EZA, which they allegedly rode. They, however, claimed that they overpowered them and the four men were gunned down.
However, it has been confirmed that the slain men were not criminals but citizens engaged in different trades, including a policeman. Chief Michael Chimaobi, the Managing Director of Benny Aries Hotel, and the owner of the jeep,Â confirmed that the slain men were not criminals but people working for him.
Chimobi, who briefed journalists,Â said that the four suspects were not criminals as alleged by the police, insisting that the four men worked for him before they were killed by the police.
Family sources confirmed that they had gone to identify the bodies at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia.