The Anambra State police command and the Azia community in Ihiala local government area of the stare on Sunday disagreed on the cause of death of one Miss Chidimma Ezeanochie.
The community had in a petition to the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, claimed that Chidinma, 20, was shot dead by the police while running an errand for her mother alongside her 14-year-old brother on November 25.
In the petition titled: “Gruesome murder of Miss Chidimma Ezeanochie by policemen of Special Unit deployed from Awka to Orsumoghu on November 25, 2021,” and signed by the President-General of Azia General Assembly, Dr. Tonna Nwabueze, members of the community said the police operatives shot the girl at close range while her brother narrowly escaped from the scene.
They described the girl’s murder as gruesome, wicked, and totally unacceptable and demanded justice from the police hierarchy.
The petition read: “Fortunately the brother was spared, but the bullet scattered our daughter’s head with the brain matter on the ground.
“She died instantly. It’s quite unimaginable because there was no form of provocation that could be linked to this.
“Presently her body is deposited at a hospital morgue at Okija, Anambra.
“About 100 meters from the site of this incident, the police equally opened fire on a Sienna Space Bus parked by a block industry.
“We contacted the Area Commander of the police on this and he told us that the policemen are a Special Unit from Awka deployed in Orsumoghu against the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) boys.”
However, in its statement issued by the command spokesman, Tochukwu Ikenga, the police condoled with the family of the deceased but exonerated its operatives from her murder.
Ikenga said on the day of the incident, a police escort team comprising seven operatives and three civilian drivers traveling through Azia/Osumoghu Road was ambushed by some armed men.
He added that two police officers were killed in the attack and their bodies burnt while one of the officers was still missing.
The spokesman said: “The police rescue team on arrival at Azia/Osumoghu junction came under indiscriminate shooting with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) thrown at their vehicles by hoodlums who earlier attacked a police escort team.
“Police operatives repelled the attack and recovered two earlier stolen rifles belonging to the police; throughout the operation, no innocent citizen, talk less of children were sighted in the area.
“It is, therefore, a surprise to hear about the death of an innocent lady who may have been killed by the indiscriminate firing by the insurgents.”
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