There was pandemonium in Awaka, a suburb in Owerri, the Imo State capital after one of the naval officers on a stop-and-search operation on Owerri/Umuahia expressway allegedly shot dead a pedestrian.
The tragedy, which happened around 6pm on Saturday, made the youths of the community to go on a reprisal and seized the AK47 belonging to the trigger-happy naval officer.
Embittered by the provocative shooting, the youths set ablaze a building which served as a guest house for naval officers.
Our correspondent learnt on Sunday that one of the naval officers had ordered one of his colleagues to shoot the victim, an order the suspect didn’t hesitate to obey.
The source said, “One of the naval officers ordered his colleague to shoot the victim and he immediately obeyed the instruction. The victim died on the spot.
“The youths of the community attacked the naval officers. One of their rifles was snatched from them .The building which served as a guest house for them since December was set ablaze.”
Southern City News learnt that it took a detachment from the state police command for normalcy to be restored to the area.
The police spokesperson in the state, Andrew Enwerem, who confirmed the killing, informed that the AK 47 rifle belonging to the naval officers was snatched from the trigger-happy officer by the aggrieved inhabitants of the community had been recovered by the police.
The police spokesperson said, “We received a distress call that a naval officer at Awaka shot and killed a civilian. The state Commissioner of Police, Dasuuki Galadanchi, mobilised operatives of the community to the area.
“Our men engaged the angry youths who snatched one of the AK47 rifles belonging to the naval officers in a dialogue. The snatched AK47 was recovered by the police and the remains of the victim has been evacuated.
“The CP has ordered an immediate investigation into the shooting and killing of the civilian. The state CID has been asked to take over the investigation process.”
However, there is still palpable tension in the community as the indigenes threatened fire and brimstone unless the naval checkpoint in the community was relocated.