The people of Nkpologwu community in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State are gripped in fear following the killing of a 20-year-old boy identified as Philip Okoro.
According to crimeworld.com.ng report, Okoro was allegedly killed by a team of masked Neighbourhood Watch personnel led by the Chief Security Officer of the local government area, Barr. Chijioke Ezugwu, who raided the deceased home at about 1:00a.m Wednesday night and shot him when he tried to escape.
Trouble started when Barr. Ezugwu, who was given the task of collecting tolls at Nkwo Market in the community by the local government authority, decided to be allocating land allegedly belonging to Umuobira community to highest bidders for the construction of stalls in the market without due consultations of the owners.
A member of the community who identified himself as Atom Joe said that when he allegedly sold a portion of the land to one Anthony Ani, at the cost of N200,000, the youths of the community challenged him.
It was further gathered that Barr. Ezugwu who was annoyed by the challenge, approached Nsukka Police Area Command, demanding for police personnel to help him arrest some youths in the community whom he accused of terrorising the people through the influence of hard drugs.
Joe explained that instead of allowing the police to carry out the arrest, he allegedly stationed them at spot in the community and proceeded on his mission with his Neighbourhood Watch personnel, during which Philip was shot and three others arrested and taken to the police station.
An eye witness who pleaded for anonymity informed that “in the morning when the community dwellers learnt of what has happened, they trooped to the Police Area Command, Nsukka in their numbers with the President General of the community, Chief Joseph Alunona to lodge their their complaints. On getting to the Area Command, the President General told the police that Mr. Okoro, a 20-year-old boy and the three other persons taken to the police station by the Neighbourhood Watch were not bad guys as alleged by the Chief Security Officer. They were immediately released while Barr. Ezugwu and one his personnel who was involved in the incident were arrested and detained in the police station even as others were currently at large.”
On Thursday evening, it was gathered that Okoro had died at University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH, Enugu following the bullet wounds he sustained during his attack.
Furious by this ugly development, some irate youths besieged the houses of the suspected Neighbourhood Watch members, including that of the buyer of the said land, and set them ablaze.
All efforts to hear from the spokesperson of the Enugu State Police Command, Daniel Ndukwe, proved abortive as he refused to take calls or respond to text message sent to his phone line with regards to this incident.