Tension as bribe-seeking policeman kills businessmanSamson Folarin
Pandemonium broke out at Agulu, in the Awka area of Anambra State on Tuesday after a bribe-seeking policeman shot dead a businessman, Chinonso Onyeme .
PUNCH Metro learnt that the 30 -year-old was with his friends in a Toyota Sienna when the incident happened around 1pm.
A family member of the father of four , who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone, said Onyeme gave up the ghost at the Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital , Amaku , where he was rushed to for treatment.
He suddenly broke down in tears and could not continue the conversation.
An eyewitness , Ngini Ebelechukwu, said the victim was shot by a cop who was in a team of 10 bribe -seeking policemen .
The policemen were said to be in two navy blue Hilux vans with the inscriptions , ‘ Metro Patrol Police, Awka. ’
The witness , whose vehicle had been previously stopped by the policemen , said he had been held for about 20 minutes as the cops insisted on collecting a bribe from him.
He said it was during the time that Onyeme was shot dead by one of the cops
He said, “ I am a sales rep for a table water company . My driver and I were travelling from Awka to Okwo to deliver cartons of table water to a customer when the policemen stopped our Ford bus .
“ They demanded the vehicle documents and the driving licence of my driver , which we gave them . They looked at the licence and said it expired in July . I told them that it was just seven days into the new month and the process to get a new one had begun .
“ However , they were not satisfied and rudely demanded that I gave them money. I pleaded with them , but they said I was talking trash.
“ They said if I did not give them anything, they would take me to their station. In anger, I asked my driver to turn so that they could take us to the station. I told them that I wanted to know my offence. When they saw that I was ready to assert my rights, they refused to take us to the station . ”
The 29 -year-old noted that despite telling the policemen that his business was time -bound and he could lose his customer if they did not release him on time , the cops were adamant .
Ebelechukwu explained that while waiting, a Mercedes-Benz approached and one of the policemen cocked his rifle and aimed it at the car.
“ His colleagues shouted that there was a policeman in the car and he stopped . The same policeman that cocked his gun heard my altercation with his colleagues. He said I was talking as if I wanted to slap their oga (boss ) and that if I did not slap their oga , he would slap me. I told him that it was not true and if he wanted to slap me, he should go ahead.
“ You need to see the way they were harrasing motorists . They were rudely demanding bribes from people and had confrontation with more than six motorists.
“ While I was talking , a Toyota Sienna left a filling station almost opposite to where the policemen were . The driver drove slowly ; but to my shock , the policeman who had attempted shooting at the Mercedes-Benz stood in front of the Sienna . He aimed his rifle at the vehicle and fired a shot . He was not under any threat or attack and the vehicle was not speeding. I have never witnessed such a thing in my life , ” he added .
The witness said one of the occupants , who had bloodstains on his clothes , ran out and started screaming in Ibo that his friend ( Onyemeh ) had been hit by a bullet .
“ I asked the policeman who fired the shot why he shot and he said, ‘ If you take a step closer, I will kill you. ’ The policeman holding my vehicle documents threw them at me as they hopped into their vans and fled .
“ As they were leaving, some people pursued their vans. The brother of the victim told me that they had just eaten at a restaurant at Agbolo and were going to Awka . He called me later that the man was dead , ” the witness said.
Our correspondent learnt that the incident was reported at the Central Police Station.
As of press time , PUNCH Metro learnt that the atmosphere of Agulu, where the victim hailed from , was charged, as Onyeme ’ s family members took his remains to the Central Police Station .
The Police Public Relations Officer , Mr Haruna Mohammed , in a text message , said the police would investigate the incident .
“ The command will investigate this alleged professional misconduct and deal decisively with any police officer found wanting in accordance with laid down procedure, ” he said
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