COVID-19: NSCDC opens up on killing of driver in Abia

* Vows to punish personnel if found culpable

* As coalition demands immediate dismissal, prosecution of killer cop

From Steve Oko, Umuahia

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC , has offered explanations over the killing of a driver in Aba, Abia State by one of its personnel enforcing the coronavirus lockdown at a checkpoint.

According to a press statement issued by its Abia State Commandant, Mr. N. C Nwannukwu, hours after the incident, the driver had allegedly wanted to evade security inspection after he was flagged down at a checkpoint.

The statement said the victim, simply identified as Amobi Igwe from Isiagu in Ebonyi State was heading for Aba in his car when he was flagged down by security operatives including personnel of NSCDC at Umuekea Junction of the Enugu /Port Harcourt Expressway.

According to NSCDC, the driver had allegedly wanted to beat security when one of them fired at his car supposing him to be a criminal.

The read in part : After he was stopped at the checkpoint the driver sped off dangerously, skidded over the barricade and brushed the personnel who flaged him down with his car when another personnel thought he was a criminal trying to beat security and fired at his tyre but unfortunately, a stray bullet hit him leaving him dangerously wounded “.

He was later confirmed dead at a nearby hospital following bullet wounds.

NSCDC gave the name of the killer cop as Richard Eke, who it said is currently under police protective custody.

The statement which said investigations into the matter had commenced further said the command would not hesitate to hand over the personnel for prosecution if found culpable.

Reports say the killer cop would have been lynched by irate villagers but for prompt intervention of other security operatives at the checkpoint.

Meanwhile, the Coalition of South East Leaders (COSYEL), has demanded the immediate dismissal and prosecution of the killer cop.

COSEYL in a press statement jointly issued by its President, Goodluck Ibem; and Secretary, Kanice Igwe, described the incident as “barbaric and animalistic”.

The Coalition decried the overzealousness and exploitative tendencies of security operatives enforcing the coronavirus lockdown in South East, and called on government to allow the full weight of the law on the erring ones to serve as a deterrent to others.

According to the coalition, the driver was shot by the trigger -happy cop for allegedly refusing to bribe the security agents as he was transporting food stuff to Aba.

The group wondered why security operatives enforcing the lockdown would want to punish drivers conveying food stuff to the state when they had been excluded by the state government from the ban /restriction of movement.

NSCDC has, however denied that the driver was conveying good stuff when the incident occurred.

COSEYL recalled that a petrol attendant was also killed by another overzealous policeman in Aba at the beginning of the lockdown .

The youth coalition urged Abia State Government to rise to the occasion and stop wanton waste of its residents by security agents paid with public funds to secure lives and property.

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