Nigerian Police Force killed Chigozie Nwaiwu, a 23-year-old welder in Imo State and allegedly branded him a member of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to justify their action.
Chigozie was said to have visited Uchenna Chukwuanyanwu, who is said to be his childhood friend, at his shop when the incident happened. On the said day, the entrepreneur was reportedly with his friend when three policemen stormed the premises in a Toyota Venza car and dragged Uchenna into their vehicle without any explanation.
According to the source, Chigozie, who was ostensibly shocked by the action of the officers, had approached them to ask them why they were taking his friend away.
But the officers were said to have shot him in the head and driven off, living him in a pool of blood.
The police officers were said to have returned to the scene of the incident later and whisked Chigozie’s helpless corpse away in their van.
The source said residents of the area were still lamenting over the matter when the state police command released a statement claiming that Chigozie was an IPOB leader killed in the Ehime-Mbano Local Government Area of the state.
The source said: “The two boys, Chigozie and Uchenna have been friends from childhood. Chigozie visited Uchenna (the son of Iron) Chukwuanyanwu in his welding shop. Suddenly, a Venza car arrived and the car occupants grabbed the welder and threw him into the Toyota Venza car.
“They were about to drive off when Chigozie asked them why they were taking Uchenna away. The car occupants who wore ordinary clothes shot Chigozie dead (in the forehead). The car zoomed off and people gathered round to see what had happened.
“Suddenly, the same car came back and all the onlookers ran helter-skelter. The car occupants simply picked up the body of Chigozie and dumped it in the car and zoomed off.
“The families of Chigozie and Uchenna were still wondering what happened when today the police in Owerri issued the above statement. Now, those who witnessed what happened are astonished.”
The source said the person that the police operatives came to arrest was one Chidera, an aluminium worker, who owns a shop close to that of Uchenna.
He added: “The person they came to carry was one Chidera; he is an Aluminium worker who owns a shop close to that of Uchenna.
“Chigozie was shot to death simply because he insisted to know the reason Uchenna was being abducted. The most annoying part of this is the press release by the Police this morning.
“They labelled Uchenna as the leader of IPOB in Ehime Mbano, that is a lie from the pit of hell to justify their actions. My heart still bleeds, I have not seen such wickedness since I was born.”
In a petition made available to SaharaReporters, Uchenna’s family condemned Chigozie’s murder and the unlawful detention of their son.
The petition, signed by Ebuka Igwe, the family’s lawyer, was addressed to the assistant inspector general of police in Umuahia, Abia State.
It read: “There is a video evidence of all that transpired showing how the victim was lying in the pool of his blood with villagers mourning around his corpse. We believe that the police cannot claim to storm IPOB/ESN (Eastern Security Network) hideout with only three policemen in a red coloured Toyota Venza.
“We also believe that the Police cannot claim to storm the IPOB hideout, when they have already given their contact to the target’s wife.”
The lawyer noted that the family have no confidence that justice will be done in the matter, “hence, our petition for the transfer of the case to your esteemed office for an independent and discreet investigation”.