Commuters and other road users were on Wednesday stranded for over an hour on the Umuikaa, Isiala Ngwa South LGA axis of Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway as youths protested the killing of a commercial driver by an official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Isiala Ngwa Division.
While details of the incident were still sketchy, our reporter gathered the commercial motorist carrying perishable and non-perishable food items reportedly had heated argument at the NSCDC personnel.
Unconfirmed reports have it that the driver, in the midst of the argument, attempted driving off before being shot by the NSCDC official.
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The incident was said to have angered youths in the area, who attempted lynching the NSCDC official.
The NSCDC official, who narrowly escaped death, ran into a police station in the area for safety.
According to an eyewitness: “The driver carrying tomatoes among other food items approached the Civil Defence checkpoint where they (NSCDC) were enforcing the order of the governor (Ikpeazu) on COVID-19 after they flagged him down.
“We didn’t know what they were discussing initially, but when temper started flaring, the driver was accusing him (NSCDC) personnel of extortion.
“The driver said that he can’t give him more than what he has given (bribe) to him (the NSCDC official), insisting that the restriction order doesn’t affect drivers carrying food items.
“When the temper was high, we left and were watching the drama from afar.
“The driver tried driving off and the next thing we heard was gunshot. We all ran away and by the time we came back, we saw the driver in the pool of his blood.
“The gunshot attracted people in the area and seeing what happened, the youths and others blocked the express in protest.”
The Public Relations Officer of NSCDC Abia State Command, Ndukwe Aguiyi could not be reached for comments.
But a source in the command, who craved anonymity, said they had already contacted the Isiala Ngwa Division under whose jurisdiction the incident happened to furnish the Headquarter with information over the incident.
The source stated that the command had already set up an investigative committee on the matter, adding that the command doesn’t condone any act of indiscipline and unprofessional behavior among its personnel.
“The leadership of the command has continued to emphasize on professional conduct of its personnel and the need to guard their weapons jealously. The Command is not going to sweep this under the carpet.”
The Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Ene Okon, in a chat, however, confirmed the NSCDC personnel is their custody.
Okon said that he has directed the NSCDC official be transferred to the SCID, Umuahia for proper investigation.
The police boss, who warned security personnel to be mindful the way they use guns entrusted in their care, said if after investigation the man was found culpable, police would arraign him for murder.