Governor Dave Umahi has said that a police officer, Idi Aminu, has been confirmed dead in an explosion that occurred at the premises of Amaizu/Amangballa Primary School in Afikpo town on Tuesday.
He made this known while debunking claims that a suspected suicide bomber detonated an explosive that was strapped to his body.
In a statement released on Tuesday by his media aide, Francis Nwaze, the governor said the security officer was killed when a grenade belonging to him accidentally exploded while carrying out his duties.
Umahi, however, asked residents to disregard reports of suicide bombers aimed at causing panic in the area.
The statement reads:: “My attention has been drawn to a news making the round in some section of the media that there was an explosion of a suicide bomb in Afikpo, Ebonyi State this afternoon.
“The above news is in sharp contrast to the reality as the incident was a grenade of a security personnel carrying out his duties at the said location that accidentally exploded. A similar incident equally occurred in front of the Ebonyi State Old Government House as some mobile police officers were servicing their APC machine.
“The first incident took the life of a passerby while the second caused injuries on the affected person, who has been taken to the hospital, where he is currently receiving treatment.
“The general public is, therefore, charged to disregard the fake news as it is the handiwork of enemies of the state who are bent on causing panic where none exists.
“Furthermore, Ebonyians and residents of Ebonyi State are reminded that generating and spreading of fake news aimed at causing panic in the state is actionable.”
Corroborating the government’s position, the Ebonyi State Police Command said Aminu was a serving Mobile Police Officer on special deployment to the local government.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Loveth Odah, in a statement said the late MOPOL inspector mistakenly hit the lead of his grenade which was hanging on his waist with his elbow resulting in the deadly explosion.
She noted that the police officer was an operative of MOPOL 32 and not a suicide bomber, adding that his remains had been evacuated to a mortuary.
Also, DSP Odah said that though a bullet accidentally fired from an AK-47 rifle when police officers posted to the Old Government House gate were cleaning their firearms, it never hurt or killed any of them.