By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—A student of Enugu State University of Technology, Miss Jovita Nwakaego Ezeala, narrowly escaped death, arising from a gunshot wound she sustained from a trigger-happy policeman along Owerri-Aba Federal Highway, on October 31.
Narrating her experience to newsmen in Owerri, Miss Ezeala said she was travelling with her siblings from their Amucha, Njaba Local Government Area country home in Imo State to Aba, Abia State, on the environmental sanitation day, when the incident occurred.
She said: “We were shot at by the policemen on duty at a checkpoint within the jurisdiction of Ngor Okpala Police Division.
“I immediately noticed that a bullet fired by the policemen hit my leg.”
Ezeala said as soon as she noticed blood gushing out of her leg, she ordered the driver to turn back to the police checkpoint.
According to her, “on arrival, the policemen using patrol van No. 9, initially denied firing at us. However, one of them, who have 442697 as his personal identification number, later admitted firing the shot.
“They later took me to a nearby hospital and paid N1,500 for my treatment.”
DPO steps in
Continuing, Miss Ezeala said that although the policemen quickly informed the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, in charge of the area about the incident, she insisted that her father must be told.
“My parents ran an x-ray at Umezuruike Hospital, Owerri. It showed a bullet lodged in my leg.
“The DPO called me on the phone last Tuesday and asked after my health, but he did not say if they would underwrite my hospital bills.”
Speaking also, the girl’s father, Ichie Emma Ezeala, who noted that nobody had the right to shoot his innocent daughter, also called on the Inspector General of Police to step into the matter.
“I cannot fold my arms helplessly and watch the police kill my innocent daughter in the way they tried to do,” he said.