From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The Anambra State Police Command yesterday confirmed that a mobile policeman was killed by a mob who also set ablaze four vehicles and destroyed part of Bontus group on Onitsha-Owerri road while protesting the death of a pregnant woman and three children in an accident at a checkpoint on Thursday.
While explaining what led to the riot, the police command stated that a lorry lost control at the checkpoint and killed a yet to be identified woman and three other children.
The command’s spokesperson, Nkeiruka Nwode, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) in a statement said on Thursday at 12 noon, the state police command received a distress call “that misguided 100 elements went on rampage.”
She noted that the mob “attacked a police checkpoint at KM 4/6 on Onitsha/Owerri Road manned by the visiting police mobile unit attached to 3PMF Enugu, killing on the spot one SGT Uchenna Ezike while on duty, took away his AK 47 rifle, set ablaze four vehicles and destroyed part of Bontus group.”
Nwode stated that preliminary investigation revealed “that the incident was caused by a moving lorry, Mercedes Benz 1513 with REG No ANAMBRA 859 GDD which lost control at the checkpoint and knocked down a yet to be identified woman and three other children.”
According to her, “Following the distress call, police patrol teams led by DPO Okpoko rushed to the scene, restored normalcy and arrested 13 suspects, including one Paul Igwe, male, of No 1 Ebuka street, Okpoko in whose custody the deceased police rifle was recovered”.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Garba Baba Umar has ordered full scale investigation into the matter to ascertain the actual cause of the accident and fish out all perpetrators of the dastardly act.
The statement further stated that when the accident occurred all the victims were rushed to Toronto Hospital, Onitsha for medical attention but were certified dead on arrival by a medical doctor, saying that their corpses were deposited at the mortuary for postmortem examination.
“Finally, members of the public are strongly warned to refrain from taking laws into their hands as the command will deal decisively with any individual or groups found wanting in accordance with the law”, the police warned.