Angela Nkwo-Akpolu, Owerri
A few hours after taking delivery of his new car, a businessman, Noel Chigbu, has been allegedly shot dead by military men at Amakohia flyover in Owerri, Imo State.
Chigbu, a proprietor of Shawarma zone in front of Home Away Palace, adjacent Ukaigwe Hospital, Akwakuma junction, Owerri, was allegedly gunned down for violating a checkpoint rule.
The deceased’s elder brother, Tobechi Chigbu, told journalists that his younger brother was shot at about 10pm last Friday night.
Tobechi said, “Noel is one of my younger brothers. He is the owner of Shawarma zone in front of Home Away Palace by Ukaigwe Hospital, Akwakuma junction, Owerri. He just finished dropping his friend who also does the same business in front of Amakohia market.
“It was around 10pm on Friday, April 30. His friend he dropped said that it was not up to three minutes he dropped him, and left that he heard gunshots towards the destination Noel drove to and people, including him scampered for safety. He didn’t know that it was his friend, my brother, who was shot by the soldiers.
According to him, when Noel stayed longer than necessary from where he had gone to drop his friend, they called his mobile severally but it was not going through until later when someone picked it and said it was police control room.
He said, “When we got there they directed us to the deputy commissioner of Police in charge of operations. The DCP in charge of operations told us that soldiers brought the vehicle about 1am on Saturday. The solders dropped his phone, the car key and a bunch of key with the police. He also said that the military guys dropped N5,400, belonging to my brother.
“At first, he said that the military men didn’t want to make any statement but the police insisted and reluctantly in a quarter page sheet the soldiers wrote that the owner of the vehicle, my brother, violated their checkpoint rule and they shot and killed him. They also wrote that the relatives of the owner of the vehicle should be referred to FMC in Owerri if they come.
“All the four tyres were shot and deflected. We also saw blood on the driver’s seat and immediately sensed danger. The front windscreen and all the window glasses were intact. Only the back screen was shattered by bullets.”
When contacted, the spokesperson of 34 artillery brigade, Obinze, Owerri, Capitan Babatunde Zubairu, said he was not aware of the incident.
According to him, the army will only be aware of the incident if the family makes any official presentation to the military.