There was confusion on Owerri/Orlu Expressway on Saturday after trigger-happy police officers shot dead a man who was attending a wedding ceremony in Owerri, Imo State.

The policemen had allegedly asked the victim, identified as Nude Oguzie, to stop for a search but the personnel shot at his Toyota Camry when he reportedly refused to stop.

It was learnt that the policemen, after learning that they might have shot the motorist dead, took to their heels and left him for dead.

Eyewitnesses said that the crowds around the area gathered around Oguzie and he was rushed to a nearby government hospital where a doctor confirmed him dead.

"We the passersby, when the policemen refused to stop to help him, took Oguzie to the Federal Medical Centre in Owerri, where he was pronounced dead," the witness said.

It was learnt that the victim was a native of the Njaba Local Government Area in Imo State.

When contacted, the Police Spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the incident, adding the culprit policemen had been identified, arrested, and kept in custody.

He said, "The Imo State Police Command has condemned the killing of one Jude Oguzie by operatives attached to the command, on December 5, along the Njaba/Owerri Road.

"The Commissioner of Police, Isaac Akinmoyede, wondered why the officers refused to adhere to rules guiding the use of firearms.

"He, therefore, ordered an investigation into the matter, to unravel the cause of the incident. The officers involved have, however, been identified, arrested, and are presently in custody.

"The CP, while sympathising with the family of the deceased, urged them to remain calm, as the Command will do everything possible to ensure that justice is done.

"The command regrets the killing of the deceased under any guise especially now that the force is doing everything within its powers to put an end to incidents of brutality and incivility to members of the public."

Killings such as Oguzie's had led to a nationwide protest led principally by angry youths in the second week of October where the citizens called urgent police reforms including the immediate disbandment of the now defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

The protest, EndSARS, had led to the establishment of state judicial panels across more than 15 states where victims of police brutality were allowed to explain the injustice and cruelty they had suffered from the police and seek redress.

 

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