The Abia state government has made a statement countering the claim of the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed concerning the killing of a petrol attendant in the state.
Lai Mohammed has alleged during a press briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, that the attendant was killed by a motorist and not a police officer.
“The petrol attendant was not actually killed by the policeman, the facts at our possession is that the policeman hot a keke which led to people protesting about it.
“As the protest was going on, another motorist hit the petrol attendant.” Lai Mohammed said.
He added, “Well, it doesn’t matter who killed, a life is precious but we want to establish the fact that the petrol attendant was actually hit by an oncoming vehicle which lead to his death.
The Commissioner for Information in Abia, John Kalu, in a statement on Friday, however, insisted that the petrol attendant, Chibuisi Okameme, was shot dead by a police officer, contrary to the minister’s claims.
“The Honorable Minister was quoted to have said, among other things that, ‘What happened was that the policeman hit a Keke Napep and while the people were protesting, another oncoming vehicle hit the petrol attendant leading to his death’.
“Nothing can be further from the truth!” Mr Kalu said.
“We wish to state categorically that information available to us suggests that one Inspector Osas Atsu of Ohuru Isimiri Police Division, Aba, allegedly shot and killed the late petrol attendant, Mr Chibuisi Okameme, of Green Mac Filling Station, New Umuahia Road, Aba, by aiming and firing live bullets at him in broad daylight and in the presence of many shocked eyewitnesses.
“The police authorities in the state are currently detaining the suspect in preparation for prosecution after due orderly room trial.”
Abia state government said it was shocked by the statement credited to the minister. The state government insisted on justice for the slain man.
“Abia State Government wishes to call on the Police authorities to expedite the arraignment of the alleged murderer of Citizen Okameme as we will not accept any cover-up or conspiracy to do same from any quarters.
“May we reiterate that nothing short of justice for the grieving family and friends of the late hard-working young man will be acceptable to us.
“We also wish to call on the Honorable Minister to cross-check facts of the matter with the police authorities and immediately issue the necessary corrigendum to avoid being seen as part of a potential plot to cover up a matter that is certainly of public interest and which also involves the painful loss of human life through obvious abuse of firearms.” The commissioner said.
At least, four people have reportedly been killed in Abia state recently by security officials.
Apart from Abia, over a dozen people have been killed by security officials across the country while trying to enforce the government lockdown.