Tragedy struck in Ebem and Elu Ohafia of Abia State as the personnel of the Ohafia Police Station shot and killed a youth identified as Innocent Friday on Saturday.
INDEPENDENT gathered that the youth was hit at the main motor park at the Ohafia Local Government Area of the state.
Speaking to INDEPENDENT on the telephone, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s aide on Youth Mobilization, who is from Okagwe, a neighbouring village from Ebem, Kalu Achi, popularly called Kalusha, the epicentre of the crisis, said he had not been briefed on the matter but said he had heard about it.
Kalusha said information at his disposal had it that the incident occurred when a vehicle was offloading passengers amidst the current complete lockdown in all parts of the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said he was not sure whether the deceased was a passenger in the vehicle, but was allegedly caught in the melee.
“I have heard the incident but I don’t have full knowledge of it.
“I heard this happened when a vehicle was offloading passengers and the boy was allegedly killed by the police.
“But what I don’t know is whether he was a trader or a passenger in the said motor,” he said.
Kalusha warned youths to desist from trouble, even as he said that police will be in the best position to explain further what happened.
However, efforts to speak with the police in Umuahia yielded little or no success but a community leader in Ebem, who gave his name as Chief Inyima Uka, said since the lockdown, police has been terrorising the residents of the commercial centre of the local government area, nothing that he was not at the place when the incident occurred, but had been briefed that police actually sh9t and killed the deceased.
“I can tell you that since the lockdown over the COVID-19, police have been threatening the youths and that is not right.
“While I condemn the wanton destruction of police properties by the youths, I have been told that it was the police that shot and killed the boy and that is very unfortunate,” he lamented.
However, moments after the death of the boy, hell was let loose as the youths of the community unleashed mayhem, burning properties belonging to police.
Also, a police vehicle belonging to Nkporo Police Station, a distant community from Ohafia, was also burnt as the youths marched through adjourning streets and communities within the area.