The Anambra State Police Command gunned down a man fleeing with 15 bags of a substance suspected to be Indian hemp at Tarzan Junction, on the Onitsha-Enugu Expressway at about 6pm on Friday.
Naija News gathered that the incident led to an uproar in the area during which a police patrol van and other valuables were set ablaze.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Nkeiruka Nwode, who described the incident as unfortunate, told Punch that a police patrol team on a stop-and-search duty had attempted to stop a driver in a Toyota Camry car for routine check, but the driver declined to stop and be searched.
The PPRO said the police had to chase the suspect from the DMGS Junction and eventually caught up with him at Tarzan Junction where the suspect resisted their attempt to search his car which led to a brawl. The police therefore, shot the victim and he died instantly.
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She said: “At about 1800hrs of 20/10/2017, a police patrol team on a stop-and-search duty stopped the driver of a Toyota Camry vehicle for routine check.
“However, the driver failed to stop as directed. He was chased by the police team from Dennis Memorial Grammar School Roundabout, Onitsha, and subsequently arrested at Tarzan Junction, Nkpor as a result of traffic build-up.
“In a bid to search the vehicle properly, a melee ensued and the driver was shot by the policemen. Unfortunately, the driver died on the spot.
“A thorough search of the vehicle revealed 15 bags of weeds suspected to be Indian hemp. Consequently, an angry mob set ablaze a security pick-up van that was seen approaching the junction. The driver of the vehicle escaped unhurt.
“Sadly, a motor boy in an approaching trailer, on sighting the angry mob, jumped down from the trailer and lost his life on the spot. He was reported to have been crushed to death by a hit-and-run vehicle.”
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Nwode said the police officers involved in the incident were undergoing interrogation, adding that “some miscreants, unaware of the true facts behind the incident, took advantage of the situation and gathered for a mob action.”
She therefore, appealed to members of the public, especially those who witnessed the incident, to feel free to provide any useful information to the police to further enhance their investigation.