BY Gibson Achonu, Owerri
A human right lawyer, Mr. Chizoba Iheka has condemned in totality, the killing of one Mr. Noel Chigbu, who hailed from Umuocham, Ntu, Ngor Okpala in Ngor Okpala council area of Imo state, describing it as extra judicial.
Iheka however claimed that he petitioned to the relevant national security authorities for the identification and prosecution of the team of soldiers and detailed explanation of the incident leading to shooting to death of the said youngman.
Chigbu, a father of two, whose wife is currently pregnant, before his untimely death was the owner / operator of a Shawarma/fish barbecue spot in Amakohia. He was penultimate Friday allegedly shot to death by a team of soldiers along Akwakuma axis in Owerri, capital of Imo state for allegedly violating the traffic rules.
“Where is it embedded in the constitution of this country, Nigeria that security operatives should shoot traffic law offenders?” Iheka asked.
Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, the lawyer also questioned the way the soldiers shot the victim, adding that from what the soldiers claimed, they lied against Chigbu.
He argued, “How could have bullet shot at the victims from the back windscreen of a car kill somebody without touching or piercing through the back of the driver’s seat, where Chigbu was, as at the time of the incident, as claimed by the soldiers?”.
“What I am maintaining is that looking at the shot that shattered the back windscreen of the car as seen in the photograph that killed Chigbu by piercing into the back of his head, and upper back, one would automatically know that there is more to the story of the soldiers about the incident that led to the death of the young man”.
Iheka further added that the blood stain of Chigbu on the leather seat of his newly brought Toyota Camry without piercing through the back seat supported his claim against what the soldiers submitted.
The human right lawyer vehemently maintained that the ugly act was an extrajudicial killing, adding that such killing should not be taken with kid gloves or condoned in the present 21st century world.
He also described the killing of the victim as absurd, insensible, inhuman and not within the confine of bringing to normalcy, security of lives and property.
While acknowledging that insecurity was a bane in the present Nigeria nation, Iheka sternly admonished security operatives to desist from using unlawful actions under the guise of insecurity to bring to normalcy, the laws of the state.
He said, “If the citizens are insecure and in the bid to curb insecurity, the law enforcement officers try to adopt the act of unlawlessness in the discharge of their duty, it will tantamount to complete breakdown of law and order in the nation”.
When contacted on phone for his reaction, the Army Public Relations Officer, Lieutenant Babatunde Zubairu said that a petition had been written by the family members and copied to the 34 Artillery Brigade Obinze and army headquarters.
He said, “I don’t know what you journalists want to achieve from this report. Many newspapers have done stories on this incident several times”.