Personnel of the Enugu State Police Command allegedly killed an apprentice mechanic, Okey Chinweike, and dumped his body in a stream at Onuato in Ogui Nike, Enugu North Local Government Area of the state on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old Chinweike, who hailed from Ikwo in Ebonyi State, was an apprentice motor mechanic with one Obiora, whose shop was located on the Presidential Road by the Onuato junction.
Southern City News learnt that the victim, who was said to have returned not quite long from the burial of his only brother, had gone to a football viewing centre about four poles away from the shop to watch a match after the close of work when he met his death.
Sources in the area, who spoke to our correspondent on Monday when he visited the scene of the incident, said the victim was already going home when personnel from the Ogui Police Station came to raid the area and started shooting indiscriminately.
An eyewitness told our correspondent on condition of anonymity, “There was commotion and people were running in different directions. However, the innocent man, who didn’t know the roads very well, because he was not living in the neighbourhood, joined the people running and he was shot by one of the policemen.
“It was after the raid that Chinweike was declared missing. But on Thursday morning, some scavengers saw a floating body in the stream and ran to the neighbourhood to inform the residents.
“Immediately, the incident was reported at the Ogui Police Division by the local vigilante group. Some policemen came and after seeing the floating body, they left and never came back. The body was discovered around 10am but it was around 5pm that his co-apprentice brought out it from the steam after the only surviving sister came and identified him.”
When our correspondent visited the mechanic workshop on Monday, Chinweike’s colleagues described his death as painful and demanded justice for him.
One of the deceased’s colleagues, who gave his name as Emeka Ezeh, said, “When we brought out his body from the stream, there was blood clot in his nose and head. There was equally a hole in his head, suggesting that he was shot in the head.”
Although Chinweike was buried the same Thursday in his home town in Ikwo, his colleagues want a thorough investigation into the incident with a view to fishing out the trigger-happy police personnel to face justice.
They described Chinweike as a gentle and easy-going young man, who neither smoked nor drink alcohol, and wondered why the police would kill him.
When the state Police Public Relations Officer, Ebere Amaraizu, was contacted on the telephone over the incident, he said he had yet to receive information on it, but noted that whoever killed Chinweike would be fished out.
“When the police send you on an assignment and if you go outside what you were asked to do, you will face the consequences,” he said.