The Rivers State Police Command said on Thursday that only six persons were killed during a violent protest by angry youths in Chokocho, Etche local government area of the state.
The command’s spokesman, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the killing in a statement in Port Harcourt on Thursday.
He debunked reports that 15 persons were killed during an alleged deadly attack on commuters travelling through Etche communities to Owerri and beyond.
“The social media reports added that the angry youths also burnt a police station as well as engaged the army and police in a gun battle.
“Ordinarily, we would have ignored this baseless and unverifiable report that is intended to cause panic and tension in the state.
“In order not to allow the public form a dangerous opinion, we therefore thought it wise and expedient to correct this fake news,” he said.
Omoni said the command had deployed mobile policemen after receiving a distress call on Dec. 7 following a blockage of Okomoko-Chokocho Bridge by protesters.
He said policemen, on arrival at the scene, dismantled the barricade and restored normalcy to the area.
“Thereafter, a team led by the Divisional Police Officer, CSP Joseph Anche, recovered five corpses in a river in the area.
“This discovery, however, sparked off another round of protest, which our men were able to contain.
“At the end of the day, six persons were killed contrary to the 15 deaths reported, while no police station was burnt and no commuter was attacked and killed as speculated,” he said.
The police spokesman said that normalcy had been restored to the area with the Rivers Commissioner of Police, Mustapha Dandaura, launching a full-scale investigation on the killings.
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