A Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps officer, Eke Richard has killed a commercial vehicle driver, Mr Amobi Igwe on Wednesday over his refusal to give him a bribe.
The ugly incident happened at the tollgate area of the Umuahia-Aba Expressway in Umuikea, Isialangwa South Local Government Area of Abia State at past 7.00am, while the victim was conveying rice and tomatoes to Aba.
The NSCDC officer was alleged to have demanded a bribe from the driver, who refused to part with any money.
Eke Richard who was visibly angry at the driver’s refusal to give him a bribe, is reported to have aimed his rifle at the driver and threatened to shoot him if he refused to hand over the key of his vehicle to him.
Witnesses said the driver demanded to know his offense but was allegedly shot at in closed range by the officer who then ran into the police station near Umuikaa junction to escape mob attack.
In a twist in the story, the state Commandant of the NSCDC, A. C. Nwannukwu, confirmed the incident in a statement stating that the driver was not conveying foodstuffs and allegedly refused to stop when asked to do so. The driver reportedly sped off dangerously, skidded over the barricade and brushed the officer with his car.
According to Nwannukwu, the officer was forced to fire at the vehicle’s tyres, but “unfortunately, the bullet strayed and hit the driver, leaving him seriously wounded. He was subsequently rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was confirmed dead.”
In a swift reaction, the President-General and Secretary-General, Goodluck Ibem and Kanice Igwe, respectively of Coalition of South-East Youth Leaders has demanded the immediate arrest, dismissal and prosecution of Richard, describing his action as “barbaric and wicked.” They said,
“We condemn in the strongest term the killing of the driver by the NSCDC operative. We demand the immediate dismissal, arrest and prosecution of the NSCDC personnel and the team that caused the untimely death of this young man, who had a family and children to take care of.”