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Onitsha shooting: Intersociety decry incessant killings of policemen

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•Says incident not targeted at church 

Babatunde Opalana 

The International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety Nigeria) has in an attempt to throw more light on the Sunday, August 13 shooting incident in Onitsha, Anambra State in South East Nigeria, decried the increasing killing of Policemen and other security agents across the country.

The latest incident resulted in instant death of a policeman and an Okada civilian along Oguta Road and its adjoining Tasia Road in the commercial city of Onitsha.

But the group have clarified that contrary to ealier reports,  the shootings has nothing to do with the Assemblies of God Church near the scene of the incident.

 Rather, Intersociety in a statement signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman, and Miss Chinenye F. Akubuilo, Head, Campaign, and Publicity Department in a statement on Monday, said the shooting and killing were carried out by a three-man gang operating on a high-speed motorcycle.

Relying on an eye witness account by Comrade Aloysius Attah , the group alleged that the gang had accosted and opened fire on an armed policeman stationed in front of the gate of the Assemblies of God Church located on Oguta Road; killing him instantly after snatching his rifle.

He claimed that the three-man gang on a motorbike on getting to the nearby Tasia Road in their bid to escape, sighted a civilian Okada rider obstructing their escape route and shot him dead instantly before escaping.

 “This finding is built on several phone calls made and strong confirmation of same by Comrade Aloysius Attah following his crime scene visit and comprehensive investigation he carried out today. Comrade Attah doubles as the Chairman of the CLO, Southeast Zone and Senior Correspondent of the Daily Sun Newspaper Anambra State”, the statement read.

Berating the spate of such crime in Onitsha, Intersociety said shooting, killing, and snatching of duty rifles of policemen at checkpoints particularly in Onitsha and environs have intensified in the last three months, adding that the attacks are usually carried out by a usually two-man gang operating with motorbikes or Okada.

It said Investigation by its source revealed that about six policemen and a civilian have lost their lives to this latest attack on policemen at checkpoints especially in Onitsha and environs in recent months.

“For instance, between late May and this August 2017, such attacks have taken place at Ugwu Nwanosike in Ogidi resulting to the death of a policemen with his rifle lost; Nkpor-Umuoji Road (same), Nkpor Down Flyover (same), Onitsha Upper Iweka Old TRACAS (two policemen killed and rifles lost) and Oguta Road by Assemblies of God Church Gate (one the policeman died and rifle lost). A civilian Okada rider also lost his life”, the group said.

 It concluded that this development led to the introduction of hand-on-held and off ignition passage of their checkpoints by all motorcycle operators or private and commercial motorcyclists in Onitsha and environs at all checkpoints mounted by security agencies  including those mounted by soldiers, naval and police personnel; whereby they are commanded to off their motorbikes’ ignition keys long meters before the checkpoints and same distances after the passage before they can switch on their ignition keys again.

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