Okey Sampson, Aba and David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has announced the arrest of the soldier, who shot and killed a motorcyclist, Chimaobi Nwaorgu Uzoukwa, on Wednesday over alleged N100 bribe.
The killing triggered off protest, which led to the setting ablaze of a police van at Opobo Junction in the Ogbor Hill area of Aba.
Ikpeazu announced the arrest when he paid visit to commiserate with the family of the deceased at Umuokereke Ngwa in Obingwa Local Government Area of the state.
He vowed that no stone would be left unturned in the quest for justice for the slain motorcyclist.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the governor, Onyebuchi Ememanka, disclosed that the soldier was arrested on Wednesday and is currently in detention.
He described the killing as wicked, malicious, unprofessional and cowardly, and expressed deep sadness that a security personnel, who is paid and maintained by tax payers’ money would turn around to kill the very person he is paid to secure.
He said that the circumstances surrounding the killing of the young man were unacceptable to the government and people of Abia State.
According to the governor, “this is one murder too many. We will do everything possible under the law to get this murderous soldier and bring him to justice. Whatever it takes, we will do. We will go to Abuja or any other place to ensure that this soldier doesn’t go scot-free.
“The death of this young man is extremely painful and cannot go in vain. This is my position and this is the position of the government and people of Abia State.”
Uzuokwa left behind a young wife, two sons and an aged mother.
Meanwhile, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) yesterday reacted to the killing of an Okada rider at Aba, Abia State, by a soldier for allegedly refusing to give N100 bribe, an incident the group described as an unprovoked attack and unnecessary killing of Biafrans by soldiers.
In a statement signed by the IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, made available to the press, the group expressed disgust that the killings had taken another “gruesome” dimension since the rejection of Fulani Ruga settlements and National Life Stock Programs (NLSP) by Biafrans.
The group said for a soldier to have chased a young man into his village and shot him dead in his compound in front of his wife and other family members is wickedness taken too far. According to the IPOB, the people of Ntigha-Uzor community in Obingwa council area should hold Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and other Igbo governors responsible for the injustices.
“We continue to call upon the American Ambassador to Nigeria, the British High Commissioner and other nations with diplomatic presence in Abuja and Lagos to convey the bitterness we feel at this loss to their home countries, regarding the state of wanton brutality, mayhem, banditry and general lawlessness at the hands of this APC government, terror herdsmen and murderous soldiers in Nigerian Army uniform,” it said.