A teenage girl in Akwa Ibom State has been hospitalised after being fatally injured by stray bullets allegedly fired by an official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), at a wedding ceremony.
The victim, Veronica Kufre, who is said to have attended the ceremony in Uyo, the state capital at the weekend, was hit by stray bullet of a NSCDC official.
According to a source who attended the wedding event, “the incident occurred midway into the ceremony in Nsukara community along Nwaniba Road, in Uyo” adding that the couple, Uduak and Samuel, had hired some NSCDC personnel to stand guard at the event.
She explained that, “the two officers hired to maintain peace and security at the event had joined other guests to help themselves to free bottles of beer and other stimulants as the merriment continued.”
“Unfortunately, the firearm was still in his hands when the sudden discharge occurred and sent the couple and other guests scampering, but he was quick to re-direct the nozzle of the gun to the ground and pumped the rest of the bullets in, but the fragments had already hit Veronica Kufre, who was close to the security officials,” she added.
“At first, we thought it was the usual gunshots that security officials would fire during burial, wedding and other ceremonies to keep the place lively, but when the young girl collapsed on the ground with blood spill, we discovered the devil was at work to kill our joy,” one of the guests, who does not want his name in print, added.
“We have been having cases of cult violence here in Nsukara community, so, when we heard the gunshots, we had to rush down to apprehend whoever was behind it, but we later discovered that it was an accidental discharge from a security official,” a member of the youths’ group in the community, who spoke on condition of anonymity, recalled.
It was gathered that while the victim was being rushed to the hospital, angry youths of the area were said to have mobilised in a mob action against the security officials but they were rescued by some police operatives who drove in with their van to whisk the two officers away.
However, the 15-year-old has been admitted at the intensive care unit of the Life Care Clinic, Udosen Uko Street, Uyo after three hospitals were said to have declined admitting her, due to the critical nature of her case.
Spokesman of the NSCDC, Mr Ukeme Umana, could not be reached for his reaction as his phone was switched-off, but the state police public relations officer (PPRO), Superintendent of Police Odiko MacDon, said the command was yet to receive the report.