By Vincent Ujumadu – Awka
Controversy has trailed the mistaken killing of a middle-aged man in place of a cow at Alor, Anambra State, the home town of the Minister of labour and employment, Dr Chris Ngige, with both the police and the Department of State Service, DSS, denying responsibility.
The victim, one Onyeocha Umuokwu in the hometown of Ngige was said to be mistakenly shot dead when a yet to be identified security personnel allegedly fired a cow that was running away from the house of a prominent son of the area.
It was gathered that the security operative, who was attached to the big man, missed his target and the bullet landed on the victim.
It was initially thought that the person who fired the gun was a policeman, but the Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer,
PPRO, Mr Mohammed Haruna said: “The attention of the Anambra State Police Command has been drawn to a misleading report being circulated that one Onyeocha Umuokwu was allegedly shot by a police officer at Engineer Emeka Eze’s house on the 25/12/2019 in Alor Community, Idemili South LGA of Anambra State.
“The report probably orchestrated by mischief makers who want to portray the police in a bad light is totally misleading.
“In order to clear ambiguity and to set the record straight, on the 25/12/2019 at the residence of one Engr Emeka Eze of Umuokwu village Alor, a DSS personnel whose identity is yet unknown attached to a VIP allegedly fired gunshot at a cow in a bid to stop it from escaping, but the bullet missed target and allegedly hit one Nnaemaka Nnabuenyi (a domestic staff of the said Engineer) popularly known as Onyeocha and the victim died on the spot.
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The incident was not reported to police.
“Following the incident, police detectives led by DPO Nnobi Division visited the scene but neither the Engineer nor the victim’s relative were willing to provide any useful information that will aid police investigation.
“However, the corpse was taken to the mortuary for autopsy and case is under investigation to ascertain circumstances surrounding the incident please.”
A few hours later, the PPRO said in another statement that it was not certain that the victim was killed by a DSS operative.
It was gathered that the second statement followed an objection by the DSS that the victim was killed by its member.