From Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
Two unidentified corpses have reportedly been found in a bush near a police checkpoint in the boundary area between Ebonyi and Enugu states.
Stranded passengers held up at the police checkpoint following a clash between policemen and lorry drivers were said to be the ones that discovered them.
According to sources, the driver of a lorry fully loaded with yam tubers was flagged down by the policemen at the checkpoint who then demanded money from him. He gave them N500 but they allegedly rejected it and demanded for N1, 000 instead and this the driver refused to give.
A police source who pleaded for anonymity as he is not authorised to speak on the matter told newsmen that trouble started when the driver resisted every move by his colleagues (policemen) to deflate his tyres. According to him, the policemen beat the driver to a pulp with the butts of their guns. This was said to have angered other lorry drivers plying the road. They subsequently blocked the highway for about two hours.
Amid the ensuing commotion, some passengers who were held up in the gridlock were said to have gone into nearby bush to defecate only to come face to face with the two lifeless bodies.
Given that they were found in a bush near police checkpoint, there were confusion over who might have killed and dumped them there. “The dead bodies were found around the police checkpoint,” a source said. “The people around there suspected the police of being the ones who killed them. They were surprised that they could be found around the checkpoint. That is why the people were accusing them of being responsible for their death.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in Ebonyi State, ASP Loveth Odah, confirmed the incident but clarified that it was only one decomposing body that was found.
She said that the dead body was that of a suspected insane person. Odah who blamed one of the policemen for causing the trouble, claimed that he, in turn, was also beaten by the drivers and is currently receiving treatment in the hospital. She added that the corpse has been deposited in the mortuary of the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA), for autopsy.