Business activities were paralyzed in Abakaliki, the capital of Ebonyi state, on Thursday following the killing of a commercial motorcyclist, Okada rider, Mr. Ofim Ejike by a police officer which resulted in a serious rampage by motorcycle riders.
Recall that the victim was murdered allegedly by a bribe-seeking police officer one sergeant, Onyebuchi Nweke attached to Ebonyi state police command over his refusal to offer N50 bribe.
The killing, which took place at Waterworks road in Abakaliki last night, has generated a lot of controversies, as the commissioner of police, Mr TItus Lamorde has stationed armoured personnel carriers at the front of the police command, government house to prevent violent action by Okada riders who are on rampage in the state.
When contacted, the commissioner of police, Ebonyi State command, who spoke to journalists in Abakaliki through the PPRO, ASP Loveth Odah said the suspect has been tried in his department, anti-kidnapping and has been summarily dismissed from the force.
Odah stated that such dastardly act will never be condoned by the police, adding that the suspect would be charged to court tomorrow (today) to face charges bordering on murder.
“The incident that happened is indeed an unfortunate one; we are appealing for peace and order; there is no way the police command would condone such dastardly act; if I may tell you, the suspect, Sgt. Onyebuchi Nweke was tried at the department level and was summarily dismissed from the force. He will be charged to court tomorrow.
“What happened is indeed unfortunate; if any Okada rider was arrested or his bike confisticated following the incident, as soon as there is calm, they will be released and their bike returned to them.
Every strategy is aimed at bringing peace to the state capital.
“Even as senior officers of the Command went on patrol to quell the situation, they were stoned by the Okada riders; as am talking to you now, a police officer who was hit by stone, is now on admission at the Federal teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.
He is presently battling between life and death; another officer with traffic was today beaten to stupor by the rampaging Okada riders.
“We appeal for peace and order as no stone would be left unturned to ensure justice for the victim, Mr. Ofim Ejike who resides at 32 Linus Ede Street, Convent Road, Abakaliki,” she stated.
Meanwhile, Okada riders who were still on rampage at the time of filing this report, were said to have been tear gassed by police to disperse them.
In a swift reaction, the governor of Ebonyi state, Chief David Umahi, who spoke to journalists through his Chief Press Secretary, Emmanuel Uzor, described the incident as barbaric and callous and expressed confidence that justice will be done in the killing of the deceased.
He said the incident has thrown up the need for more dedication, commitment and professional training for the country’s security personnel to stop further killings of innocent Nigerians on the line of their duties and assured that he would take up the matter to the Inspector General of Police to ensure that the trigger happy policeman who shot and killed the boy is punished in line with the rule of engagement.
Umahi warned that his administration will not tolerate any form of killing of innocent citizens or extra judicial killing by the security agencies.
He expressed his sincere condolences to the family of the deceased and promised to visit when full information concerning the family is made available.
The governor called on the public to remain calm as the situation was already under control, warning that they should never resort to taking the law into their hands.