Reporter : AMECHI ODO
Police authorities in Ebonyi State have launched investigations into the death of a twenty-five year old woman, Mrs. Elizabeth Agwu, who was allegedly shot dead during an arrest by their operatives at Enuagu Junction in Onitcha Local Government Area of the state.
Radio Nigeria gathered that the mother of three was returning to her shop where she was sold fruits at the Junction when she was hit by bullets. The deadly shooting affected not only the deceased (Mrs. Elizabeth Agwu) but also an eleven year old girl whose identity could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report.
An Eyewitness, Mr. Kingsley Obasi, told Radio Nigeria that the police operatives had stormed Enuagu Junction at about 6pm to arrest a suspect. He alleged that shortly after the arrest, the operatives started shooting sporadically during which their bullets hit the fruit seller and the eleven year old girl.
Another Eyewitness, who gave her name as Joy Obioma, described the shooting as uncalled for as the suspect did not put up any resistance neither were the police operatives confronted by anyone. A brother of the deceased, Prince Igwe Agwunwaukpa emphasised that the incident had thrown the family members into a mourning mood and called on police authorities to arrest the operatives who allegedly shot her sister dead.
Ebonyi State Police Command through a statement issued by the Deputy Police Public Relations Officer in the State, Mr. Levi Philips, alleged that the mother of three was a victim of a cross fire between the police operatives and gang members of the arrested suspect whose name was given as Nweze Ezenwigboke. In a reaction, the member representing Onicha West State Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Mr. Chukwuma Igwe, said there was no cross fire between the police and any gang during and after the arrest.
A Security consultant to Ebonyi State Government, Mr. Stanley Okoroemegha, said the state government would not allow the shooting to lie low as it was an act of recklessness. Mr. Emegha emphasised that the state government would not tolerate abuse of human rights by security operatives on the excuse of enforcing the law.