By TONY EDIKE
ENUGU—A Police Inspector, Clement Onwueguta, attached to Uwani Police Division in Enugu South local government area was shot dead weekend by a police patrol team which mistook him for an armed robber.
Four members of the police patrol team who killed the police officer have been detained and are currently being interrogated, with a view to ascertaining the person that actually fired the shot.
Vanguard learnt that the deceased police officer, who was dressed in mufti at the time of the incident on Friday night, was sighted with a pistol along the Railway Line at the end of Aku Street within Ogui New Layout and was ordered by the police patrol team from Ogui Police division to stop for a search.
Rather than complying with the directive, the late inspector reportedly took to his heels, prompting the patrol team to give him a hot chase.
State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, who confirmed the incident yesterday, said the inspector was running toward the Uwani police barracks, which is about 100 metres away, when one of the police men shot him.
He said: “Inspector Onwueguta was not identified as a policeman when sighted from a distance somewhere along Aku Street, which is under Ogui Police division.
“People always trek from Edinburgh Road to Uwani through Aku Street and reports available to us show that hoodlums always attack people within that area.
“On that fateful day, February 17, men of Ogui Division had gone out on a routine patrol at the black spot. When they were coming, they sighted somebody from a distance and thought he was a hoodlum. The policemen shouted at him to stop but he took to his heels because he was alone.
“The operatives gave him a hot chase and in the course of the chase, the policemen heard a gun shot believed to have come from either one of them which eventually brought him down.
“On getting to the spot where he laid, the policemen searched and found on him a Beretta pistol and police ID card bearing the name Inspector Clement Onwueguta.
“It was a clear case of mistaken identity but members of the patrol team are already being interrogated. It was, indeed, an unfortunate incident.”
Meanwhile, the corpse of the police inspector who hails from Rivers State, had been deposited at an unnamed hospital for autopsy.