Tension high in Enugu community as police release murder suspect
* Youths point accusing fingers at govt
Tension is brewing in Nkpologu community, Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State over the release of the Chief Security Officer of the council area, Barr. Chijioke Ezugwu, who allegedly led the attack that resulted in the death of a 22-year- old boy, Philip Okoro in the community, two weeks ago.
It was gathered that youths of the community are planning a protest to the office of the Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Abubakar Lawal, over what they described as “truncation of justice”.
Recall that Barr. Ezugwu, led a team of Neighbourhood Watch personnel who raided the home of late Philip at Nkpologu at about 1 am last two weeks and shot him in the process, resulting in his death, a day after.
A member of the community, Joe Atom who confirmed the release of Barr. Ezugwu said “It is true that Barr. Chijioke Ezugwu, who was involved in the killing of Philip Okoro had been released since last Friday by the police. Instead of coming to our community, he decided to stay at his Enugu residence at Maryland, Enugu.
“As it stands, youths from my community are planning a protest march to the office of the Commissioner of Police, Enugu State to register our grievances. What the police did was truncation of justice,” he said.
Efforts to get the position of Enugu State Police Command on the matter did not succeed. The public relations officer, Daniel Ndukwe did not reply the text message at his request as he claimed to be in a meeting when our correspondent called him.
However, when the incident happened two weeks ago, the command reacted, saying:”The Commissioner of Police, Enugu State Police Command, CP Abuabar Lawal has ordered the Deputy Commissioner of Police in-charge of the State CID to conduct a full-scale investigation into the case of alleged shooting of one Philip Okoro (m) aged 22, by a Vigilante at Nkpologwu community in Uzo-Uwani LGA on 29/06/2022.
“The victim was rushed to the hospital and later confirmed dead on 30/06/2022 at about 3pm, by doctors on duty and his corpse deposited in the mortuary for preservation and autopsy.
“Consequently, two (2) members of the Vigilante Group directly linked to the shooting and murder of the victim have been arrested. They include: one Annene Idu (m), alleged to have shot the deceased, and Chijioke Ezugwu (m), the Chief Security Officer of the L.G.A. said to have led the Vigilantes to the scene of the incident to arrest hard drugs dealers. Additionally, the Pump Action used for the act has been recovered.
“Meanwhile, in protest over the death of the said victim, an angry mob set ablaze the house of the mentioned team leader. However, the fire was put out by Police Operatives, who swiftly mobilized to the scene on receipt of a distress call, before the building could be burnt down.
“Normalcy has been restored in the area, while the CP has entreated residents of the community to remain law-abiding and avoid acts capable of breaching public peace in the area, while supporting the Police in the ongoing investigation”, it was signed by DSP Daniel Ndukwe, the command’s
Public Relations Officer.
However, a police source that pleaded anonymity hinted that the suspect was released after the state government intervened in the case by prevailing on police authorities in the state.
The source said that was why the police hastily released the suspect without carrying out thorough investigation to fish out all the members of the vigilante group involved in the operation that led to the death of the boy.