Two persons, suspected to be members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) were reportedly shot dead in Onitsha with four others, including a policeman, critically injured in a bloody clash between some MASSOB members and policemen.
A source disclosed that the incident, which occurred on Saturday along Oguta Road when a team of policemen allegedly tried to impound some commercial motorcyclists for plying Oguta Road, one of the routes prohibited for motorcyclists by the state government.
An eye-witness said the victims were shot dead by one of the policemen on patrol while trying to enforce the state government restriction of motorcyclists plying the route and, in the ensuing mayhem, the policeman’s AK-47 rifle allegedly went off and hit one of the victims who died instantly.
It was further gathered that after the death of the victim, who was wearing MASSOB insignia, the policeman allegedly started shooting sporadically into the air to scare the people in order to escape mob action. Stray bullets were said to have hit and killed the second victim and injured four others before the policemen escaped.
The Police Area Commander for Onitsha, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Philip Ezekiel, confirmed the incident.
The Divisional Police Officer in-charge of the Central Police Station (CPS) Onitsha, Isah Abubakar (CSP), who said information about the cause of the incident had not yet been ascertained because the policeman was so critically injured that he could not talk from his intensive care unit of the hospital where he is currently receiving treatment.
However, the Divisional Police Officer, DPO in-charge of Inland Police Station, Cosmas Ezeh, who also confirmed the incident, explained that the MASSOB members, who were coming back from their meeting, had first confronted the policemen on their way to buy fuel and met at the point of the incident.