By Emeka Mamah
Enugu—THERE is tension as the Police in Enugu State and members of Ikpa-modo, Enugu Ezike, in Igboeze North Local Government Area of the state trade blames over the death of 38-year-old man, Bitrus Chukwudi Ugwuanyi.
It was alleged that Ugwuanyi, who was an Okadama (commercial motorcyclist), was killed by policemen for his inability to pay them N50.
It was gathered that the okadaman was carrying a pregnant woman from Obollo Afor in Udenu Local Government to Ogrute in Enugu Ezike, when he was arrested by policemen at a checkpoint at Ugwu Ekposhi and asked to pay N50.
He reportedly said he had nothing on him, as he was on his first trip of the day.
An eyewitness said an altercation with one of the officers reportedly led to the killing of Ugwuanyi in the presence of his female passenger.
It was further alleged that when it dawned on the policeman that his victim was dead, he quickly raised an alarm that the dead man snatched his AK-47 riffle, which led to the arrival of members of the Igboeze North Central Neighbourhood Watch at the scene.
The Neighbourhood Watch members were said to have fired more shots on the dead body, before they paraded the corpse around the town, celebrating that he was killed for allegedly “snatching a gun from a policeman.”
Trouble began when Ugwuanyi’s kinsmen protested his murder, saying that he was not known to be of bad character.
State PPRO reacts
Enugu State Police Public Relations Officer, Ebere Amaraizu, said that the police would rely on the information that Ugwuanyi was killed in the course of trying to retrieve the AK-47 riffle until the contrary was proved.
Amaraizu, however, advised the relations of the deceased to raise a petition to the state Police Commissioner, Danmalam Mohammed, if they were sure of their new position.
He said: “The state Police Commissioner will order a thorough investigation if the family brings any petition over the issue.
“He is a no-nonsense man, who does not spare or condone any misconduct from his officers and would not hesitate to deal decisively with offenders. Let them come up with their complaints,” he added.