A police sergeant, identified as Collins Akpugo, has been accused of killing a 21-year-old man, Chukwubuike Onuoha, during a confrontation on Monday, June 3, 2019.
Akpugo shot and killed Onuoha during an argument in Okwulagha Afara Ukwu community in Umuahia, Abia State on Monday night, according to a report by Premium Times.
Residents reported that Onuoha had complained about how Akpugo had flashed the light of his Toyota Hilux van while the deceased was standing in front of his family’s residence with other people, including his brother.
The officer, believed to have been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident, reportedly got out of the van and shot Onuoha on the shoulder. He further shot him on the chest while he was lying on the floor as efforts by others to challenge him proved futile.
The officer, who’s attached to the Special Protection Unit (SPU) of the Abia State Police Command, subsequently fled from the scene as an angry mob immediately burnt the vehicle he left behind.
“He was drunk when he carried out the act. He was merely told by the youth to dim his full light. Instead, he wasted the life of Chukwubuike and ran away,”
An eyewitness, Okiroro Stephen, told Premium Times.
Onuoha was confirmed dead at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia on Tuesday, according to Ngozi Ogbonna, a woman leader from the community who led a protest in the state capital.
“We have gone to the government to complain; we are also going to the police command to express our grievances to them. All we want is justice in this matter,”
She told journalists.
The spokesperson of the Abia State Police Command, Geoffrey Ogbonna, accused the officer of failing to adhere to the rules of engagement laid down by the Force. He said the command is doing everything possible to arrest the sergeant who’s currently on the run.
Police officers have been in the news recently for a string of misconducts that have sometimes led to the death of civilians.
This week, President Muhammadu Buhari warned officers of the Nigeria Police Force to desist from the violation of the fundamental human rights of Nigerians.
“Where the rights of Nigerians are violated by Police Officers while discharging their functions, the Government has a responsibility to address the instances of violation in line with its human rights obligations and ensure that such Police Officers are held accountable for their actions,”
The Senate passed a Police Reform Bill in April, but it was rejected last month by the House of Representatives which noted that some of the reforms were in violation of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).