Chinwe Ugele, Umuahia.
Youths of Afaraukwu autonomous community on Tuesday staged a peaceful protest in Umuahia metropolis to express their grievances over an alleged extra judicial killing of one of them by a policeman identified as Sergeant Collins Apugo.
The sergeant was said to have had an altercation with a group of young men Monday night while returning from watching the Nigeria Senegal match about 10pm over driving rules when he the cop pulled the trigger.
Alozie Irokansi who led the youth on the protest match gave insight into what transpired between the cop and the lads that night.
According to him, the 23 year old Chukwudike Onuoha was in a Camry car with unspecified number of persons while returning from watching the match when the headlamps of a parked vehicle completely overshadowed their view which made him the victim walk up to the driver to ask him to dim his lights to enable their own vehicle cross the culvert on that road.
” On getting to the car, Chukwudike identified the driver as a police officer who resides in the same Afaraukwu as a tenant and immediately the police officer pulled his gun and shot Chukwudike at the arms and the victim ran away while crying for help.
“Chukwudike fell on the ground and the police officer still came over and shot Chukwudike at the chest and he died instantly,” he said.
“On seeing this, the police officer ran away, abandoning the police van,” according to the chairman.
The youth had since  burnt the van which belonged to the command released to him that night to go home after he closed late.
Also recounting another experience with the said cop, the community youth vice-chairman, Ifeanyi Uwalaka, said “last week Tuesday, the same police officer had pursued a man into his family shop at the area, threatening to shoot the man dead before he intervened.”
According to Uwalaka who is also an Immigration Officer, Apugo had just got married three weeks ago.
The incident happened just few meters away from Secondary Technical School Afaraukwu.
Ironically, Chukwudike with other young men in the community contributed immensely to the success of the officers wedding.
The vice chairman who could not control his emotions amidst tears identified the victim as his cousin who was a talented footballer.
The corpse has been deposited at the morgue of the Federal Medical Center,  Umuahia.
The slain lad was said to have been working at one Theoma school,  in the area and had just secured admission into the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike until his unfortunate death.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Geoffrey Ogbonma confirmed the incident. He said the Commissioner of Police,  Eneh Okon had waded into the matter by setting up a panel to ensure justice is done.
He said the Commissioner has also sent a delegation to commiserate with the family of the victim.
Meanwhile, the traditional ruler of Okwulaga Autonomous Community,  HRM Eze Edward Ibeabuchi has described the incident as unfortunate, especially as there was no record of provocation.
He disclosed that already high level delegations from the state governor and from the state CP had visited him over the issue and pleaded with the community youths to exercise patience as investigations go on.
Meanwhile, the youths seem not to be assuaged as they on Tuesday barricaded that Afara road making it inaccessible to motorists.

Chinwe Ugele

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