There is palpable tension in Nkpologu community in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, over the release of the Chief Security Officer of the council area, Barr Chijioke Ezugwu, who allegedly led the attack which resulted in the death of a 22-year-old boy, Philip Okoro, two weeks ago.
Daily Sun gathered that youths of the community have concluded plans to stage a protest march to the office of the Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Abubakar Lawal, over what they described as “truncation of justice”.
Barr Ezugwu allegedly led a team of Neighbourhood Watch personnel to raid the home of the late Philip at Nkpologu, at about 1am, last two weeks, and he was shot in the process, resulting in his death, a day after.
A native of the community, Joe Atom, who confirmed the release of Barr Ezugwu, said: “It is true that Barr Chijioke Ezugwu had been released since last Friday by the police. Instead of coming to our community, he decided to stay at his Enugu residence, at Maryland.
“As it stands, youths from my community are planning a protest march to the office of the Commissioner of Police, Enugu State, to register our grievances. What the police did was truncation of justice,” he said.
Efforts to get the position of Enugu State Police Command on the matter proved abortive as the Public Relations Officer, Daniel Ndukwe, did not reply to the text message sent to him, nor did he answer phone calls as he claimed that he was in a meeting.
However, when the incident happened two weeks ago, the command reacted thus: “The Commissioner of Police, Enugu State Police Command, CP Abuabar Lawal, has ordered the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the State CID, to conduct a full-scale investigation into the case of alleged shooting of one Philip Okoro (m), aged 22, by a vigilante, at Nkpologwu community, in Uzo-Uwani LGA, on 29/06/2022.
“The victim was rushed to the hospital and later confirmed dead on 30/06/2022, at about 3pm, by doctors on duty, and his body deposited in the mortuary for preservation and autopsy.
“Consequently, two members of the vigilance group directly linked to the shooting and murder of the victim have been arrested. They include: one Annene Idu (m), alleged to have shot the deceased, and Chijioke Ezugwu (m), the Chief Security Officer of the L.G.A. said to have led the vigilantes to the scene of the incident to arrest hard drug dealers.
Additionally, the Pump Action used for the act has been recovered.
“Meanwhile, in protest over the death of the said victim, an angry mob set ablaze the house of the mentioned team leader. However, the fire was put out by police operatives, who swiftly mobilised to the scene on receipt of a distress call, before the building could be burnt down.
“Normalcy has been restored in the area, while the CP has entreated residents of the community to remain law-abiding and avoid acts capable of breaching public peace in the area, while supporting the police in the ongoing investigation.”
However, a police source, who pleaded anonymity, hinted that the suspect was released after the state government allegedly intervened in the case by prevailing on police authorities in the state.
The source wondered why the police hastily released the suspect without carrying out thorough investigation to fish out all the members of the vigilance group involved in the operation, which led to the death of the boy.