Facts have emerged on how the Police in Imo State killed a graduate job seeker in public glare at the shop of his childhood friend and later branded him a member of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
According to witnesses, the Police shot and killed one Chigozie Nwaiwu, in his friend’s welding shop at close range and in the full view of the public and later declared him a wanted IPOB member who has been leading dangerous IPOB attacks on security formations and their personnel.
The Police also arrested and took away the shop owner and friend of late Nwaiwu, Uchenna Chukwuanyanwu, popularly known as son of Iron.
An eye witness account has it that Nwaiwu met his untimely death when he visited his childhood friend, Chukwuanyanwu, in his welding shop. Suddenly, the source said, a Venza car pulled up in the area and occupants of the Venza quickly grabbed the welder and threw him into the car.
“They were about to drive off when Chigozie asked them why they were taking Uchenna away. The car occupants who were in mufti, shot Chigozie on the forehead and he died instantly. The car zoomed off, As people gathered to see what has happened the same car turned and the frightened onlookers took to their heels. The car occupants simply picked up the body of Chigozie and dumped it in the car and zoomed off.”
However, those familiar with the late Nwaiwu were shocked to their marrow when the Police described the late Nwaiwu as a member of IPOB.
A statement by the Police spokesperson, Mike Abattam, in Owerri Friday, October 8, said that Nwaiwu, whom it described, as IPOB champion, was arrested at Ehime-Mbano Local Government Area of the State.
Abattam said the Police also killed an IPOB member who joined other members to frustrate the arrest of the kingpin.
He said Chukwu, aged 34 years, played a major role in the killing of Police officers and burning of Police stations in Imo and had long been declared wanted by the police and was arrested following credible information that made the police to storm his shop at Ehime Mbano area to arrest him.
“The suspect raised the alarm, alerting members of his gang, picked a cutlass and rushed at one of the Police operatives and attempted chopping off his head but was overpowered, disarmed and the cutlass recovered.
“While this was on, the already alerted members who came in their numbers to rescue him engaged the Police in a gun duel and in the process, one of them was neutralised while others escaped with bullet wounds,” Abattam stated.
He added that one locally-made double barrel pistol with two expended cartridges; two live cartridges and charms were recovered at the scene adding that the suspect was presently undergoing interrogation and had made useful statement to the Police.
He said the police was working in synergy with other security agencies to arrest other members of the terror group, especially those that escaped with bullet wounds.
In utter disbelief, many who knew late Nwaiwu and Anyanwu contradicted the Police statement, describing the duo as very hardworking folks who were always mobilizing youth in the community to help out widows.
“The community knows who is who and these young boys are some of the best. The one the Police shot at close range is a graduate of a Polytechnic who is looking for a job and keeping busy with helping out at the friend’s shop. Our community has been thrown into mourning because of the incident,” a source who craved anonymity said.
The source expressed fears that the Police may torture Nwanyanwu who is in their custody confess what he never did.
It was gathered that members of the community were rallying round to petition the Inspector General of Police to investigate the extra-judicial killing of Nwaiwu and also to secure the release of Anyanwu.