A football fan known as Obinna Igwe has been shot dead by a trigger happy cop in Ebonyi State. Two others sustained bullet wounds following a fracas involving some policemen and a football team during match in Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The Nation also gathered that two police officers were also injured during the incident.
The football match which was between Ndufu Alike and Ndufu Echara teams was the final of a Unity Cup competition organized by the Chairman of Ikwo Local Government Area, Elder John Nnabo at Urban Secondary School, Ndufu Echara. An eyewitness told our reporter that trouble started when the centre referee issued a red card to an Ndufu Alike player which eventually resulted in his team conceding a goal in the second half. According to him, the development did not go down well with the dismissed player as he returned to the pitch and launched an attack on the centre referee along with other players on the bench. “As they attacked the referee, a police officer started shooting into the air to disperse the crowd.
The situation made the people to start running towards the gate of the school to leave the premises but another police officer opened fire on them and injured many who were later evacuated to hospital,” the eyewitness said. The deceased was said to have died before getting to hospital.
Doctors at the Federal Teaching Hospital later confirmed him dead. The eyewitness hinted that the situation would have degenerated as some youths of Ikwo almost confronted the police. “It took the intervention of some public office holders in the area to douse the tension,” the eyewitness added.
One of the stakeholders, Mr Onyekachi Nwoba, condemned the use of live ammunition by the police pointing out that their action was not in line with rules of engagement. When contacted, the police spokesman, Mrs Loveth Odah, alleged that the fan was killed when the rampaging youths attempted to snatch a rifle from one of the policemen.
Odah explained that normalcy had returned to the area as the Commissioner of Police in the state had deployed more policemen to prevent further breakdown of law and order. She said the officer involved in the shooting had been arrested and would undergo orderly room trial according to the rules and regulations of the police.
It was further gathered that the remains of the dead fan had been deposited in a mortuary while those injured were receiving treatment at various hospitals. The state governor, David Umahi, has ordered investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of victim. The governor in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Emmanuel Uzor, described the incident as tragic and called for calm.
He assured that his administration is committed to securing the lives and property of every citizen.
“The news of the death of one of our brothers during an altercation with the security agents who came to save a football referee from the grip of angry mob during a football match in Ndufu Echara Ikwo is highly unfortunate and uncomfortable.
” While we condemn the incident, I want to commiserate with the family and call for full investigation into the whole drama. My administration shall not take lightly the outcome of the investigation and anybody found culpable in the entire drama shall be dealt with.”
– The Nation