By Peter Okutu
ABAKALIKI—For killing a six-year-old girl, Chinaecherem Nwite, during a burial ceremony, Police in Ebonyi State have arrested a vigilante leader, Mr. Peter Nwokpo of Umuhuali Community in Ishielu Local Government Area.
Vanguard learned that four persons were reportedly injured following the ugly incident, which occurred at Azuogba-Agu village of the community during the burial of one Peter Ude.
A resident of the area, who gave his name as Okechukwu, said the family of the late Ude had invited the vigilante leader (Nwokpo) and his team to the burial to assist in maintaining law and order when the unfortunate incident occurred.
He recounted: “We were in the burial of one of our kinsmen, when we suddenly heard a gunshot from the vigilante group invited to the burial to maintain law and order.
“After the gunshot, we saw a six year old girl shattered with bullet lying lifeless on the ground. We made inquiry and discovered that it was the vigilante leader, Mr. Nwokpo, who shot her.
“People said it was an accidental discharge, but, I wondered what type of accidental discharge that will make someone to be shooting indiscriminately because the gun-shots were too many,” he said.
Another victim, who sustained injuries during the incident, Ahamefula Usulour, told Vanguard that the vigilante leader went to the burial with pump action gun, cocked it and shot into the air.
Usulour, who sustained stomach injury, alleged that Nwokpo attempted to shoot more into the air but that it didn’t go through like the first one, making him to point the gun directly to where people were staying and and began shooting, killing the six year old girl instantly while three other persons including himself sustained varying degrees of injuries.
“We had warned the man to stop shooting when he shot the first bullet, but he refused to listen to us. He was very drunk and that was why he didn’t listen to us and continued shooting,” he lamented.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP George Okafor, confirmed the incident.