By Amby Uneze
A 27-year-old man was allegedly killed at the popular Banana Junction in Amaifeke town, near Orlu, in Imo State, by an Inspector of Police attached to the Orlu Division.
The inspector was among a team of policemen who mounted road block in that area and used the opportunity to enforce the wearing of face masks in compliance with directive of the state government to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The deceased, who was alleged to have hailed from the nearby Okporo community, was carrying a passenger and was not putting on a face mask when the inspector stopped him.
Sources at the scene of the incident alleged that the man was asked to pay some amount of money before he would be allowed to depart with his motorcycle. But the deceased insisted that he would not pay because the motor cycles of other riders who did not wear face masks were not impounded.
“When this argument was going on, the inspector for unknown reasons, shot him at close range and the man died instantly, forcing the policemen to enter their vehicle and ran away,” an eyewitness said.
The incident caused unrest in the town as residents trooped out to protest the killing. It was gathered that policemen manning the Headquarters of Orlu Local Government Area quickly removed their uniforms and disguised as civilians.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Isaac Akinmoyede, confirmed the incident via a telephone conversation, saying that one of the officers was wounded with a knife by the angry mob.
Akinmoyede said: “The situation is being managed. It is true that a policeman killed a man but the situation is not out of control. People whose loved one was killed have a right to be angry. One policeman that was knifed is in a hospital as we speak.
“I have told all the parties to remain calm. The situation will be handled. I have instructed the area commander to ensure that normalcy is returned. Justice will be served in the matter.”
He assured that the trigger-happy inspector and all the persons involved in the incident would be arrested and prosecuted