The Akwa Ibom command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps says it has commenced an investigation into the shooting to death of an Abia indigene by its officer, Insp. Robinson Otobong.
The state Commandant of the corps, Mr. Samuel Fadeyi, made the disclosure on Wednesday, while briefing newsmen on the incident at the headquarters of the Abia command of NSCDC in Umuahia.
Fadeyi said that the incident took place between 5.30 pm and 6 pm at Itungwa in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia on Tuesday.
He said that the shooting happened when some miscreants in the community accosted a Hilux Van conveying two expatriate workers with CGGC Global Project Nig. Ltd. at a bad portion of the Aba-Ikot Ekpene Road.
He said that the miscreants, who were allegedly extorting money from motorists plying the route, refused to allow the expatriates passage except they gave them money.
He said that in the process, Otobong, who was assigned to provide security to the expatriates, jumped out of the vehicle to clear the road.
“As soon as the boys saw him, they turned violent and threatened to attack him,” Fadeyi said, adding that the officer fired a warning shot to scare them.
He said that rather than clear from the road, the miscreants, who allegedly clutched machete, shovels, and other dangerous weapons, surged forward and attacked him.
“It was during the scuffle and in the bid to hold on strongly to his gun that it incidentally fired a bullet that hit the deceased in the chest.
“When he fell down, Otobong quickly pulled him up and took him into the van and they drove him straight to a nearby hospital,” Fadeyi said.
He said that “unfortunately, the man gave up the ghost before medical attention could be given to him.”
He further said that youths of the area immediately mobilised and traced the officer to the hospital where they mobbed him and also burnt down the Hilux.
He said that it took the intervention of some military personnel at a checkpoint on the road to recover the gun and rescue the officer from being lynched to death.
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“Presently, he is lying critically ill at a hospital in the state, where doctors are battling to save his life,” he said.
He expressed gratitude to the military operatives for quelling the situation.
Fadeyi conveyed the condolences of the Akwa Ibom command of the corps to the bereaved family, government, and people of Abia “over the unfortunate incident”.
Reacting to the development, the Abia Commandant of the corps, Mr. Nnamdi Nwannukwu, expressed sadness over the incident.
Nwannukwu said that the command had reached out to the state and Obingwa local governments over the matter, adding that they had waded into it to ensure it did not escalate.
The two commandants appealed to parents in the state to always restrain their children and wards from indulging in criminal and illegal acts.
They promised that the corps would carry out a full investigation into the killing in order to establish the circumstances that led to it.
According to them, NSCDC does not cover up the reckless use of firearms by its operatives.
They said that the officer would be made to face the full weight of the law if found guilty during the investigation