Two persons are battling for their lives in various private hospitals in Aba, the commercial nerve of Abia State after they were shot by happy-trigger police officers attached to the Aba Area Command of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
There were fears that one of the victims identified as Ugochukwu Chinyere, an indigene of Umuekwensu community in Ohuru Isimiri, Obingnwa local government area of the state and a graduate that just completed his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) may not be able to walk again as the bullet shot at him by a police officer (whose name was yet-to-be ascertained) pierced through his hip, leaving him with severe injury on his waist.
Mr. Chinyere, a commercial motorcycle passenger was allegedly shot by one Yahaya led team of police officers who were at a checkpoint in front of popular Metrological complex on Obikabia-Umukalika road in Obingwa LGA.
The second person whose name was yet-to-be ascertained was shot on the leg by one of the police officers attached to the Azuka police station in Aba North LGA.
Mr. Christopher Nduagu, an eyewitness to the Ohuru Isimiri shooting, while narrating the incident said “Ugochuklwu Chinyere who is the breadwinner of the family was a passenger in a motorcycle going to Obikabia junction.
“One of the policemen at Umukalika police checkpoint stopped them to demand their usual N1000, but the bike man told him that he doesn’t have the money. They had a heated argument, leading to intervention by late Chinyere.
“The police officer who had warned Chinyere not to come close to him, fired him on the hip. He was rushed to a private hospital where he is receiving medical attention.”
Another eyewitness who simply gave his name as Linus Alanna narrating the Azuka Police Station shooting said that they were going to the hospital off Ikot Ekpene Expressway to visit their brother who was shot by the Ohuru Isimiri police team when a police officer serving at Azuka Police Station fired and injured the knee of their kinsman.
“We were going to Dominion Hospital where the injured person was receiving medical attention when police officers and the Divisional Police Officers (DPO) from the Azuka police station accosted us.
“We told them that we are going to see our brother who was hospitalized at the private hospital. But they said that we should go back. While we were trying to appeal to them to allow us to go and see our brother who was admitted in a nearby hospital that was shot by their colleague along Obikabia-Umukalika road, one of them fired on one of us and injured him on one of his legs.”
Investigation by our correspondent has it that the second victim is receiving treatment at a private orthopedic hospital along Okigwe road in Aba North LGA.
When our correspondent visited the scene of Obikabia-Umukalika incident in Obingwa LGA, there were no presence of any police team at their usual spot in front of the Aba Meteorological complex, Umukalika.
The tree which they used as shield has been cut down by the youths of the area.
The Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, SP Geoffrey Ogbonna didn’t take his calls when contacted.
Ogbonna is yet to reply text message sent to his mobile phone number by our correspondent at the time of filing the report.
A police source who condemned the shooting of the innocent citizens, however claimed that the Azuka incident happened after the police got intelligence that the youths were coming to attack the Azuka Police Station.
But an Obingwa youth who didn’t want to be mentioned faulted the claim of the police source.
According to the youth, “how can they tell us that youths who were rushing to ensure that the life of another youth will be saved attacked a police station that doesn’t have the jurisdiction where the first incident happened?
“If the youths were even to attack any police station, it is Ohuru Isimiri police station and not Azuka Police Station.
“We want to Commissioner of Police and her team to carry out necessary investigation into the matter and bring these police officers to book.
“Let them ensure that these injured innocent citizens get the best of treatment as they are battling for survival. The two victims lost so much blood. Extortion of motorists on Obikabia-Umukalika road is too much and that must stop forthwith.”