Following the murder of a 20-year-old kid named Philip Okoro, the residents of Nkpologwu, an agricultural hamlet in Enugu State’s Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area, now experience constant anxiety.
According to Hybridnewsng sources, Okoro was allegedly killed by a team of masked Neighbourhood Watch officers under the command of one Barr. Chijioke Ezugwu, the local government area’s chief security officer, who raided the deceased man’s home at around 1am on Wednesday night and shot him when he attempted to flee.
According to information obtained, trouble started when Ezugwu, who was assigned by the local government authority to collect tolls at the community’s Nkwo Market, decided to award land purportedly belonging to the Umuobira community to the highest bidders for the construction of market stalls without consulting the owners first.
A community member who went by the name Atom Joe revealed that the young people in the area confronted him after he allegedly sold a piece of the land to Anthony Ani for N200,000.
Hybridnewsng has learned that Barr. Ezugwu, who was upset by the challenge, went to the Nsukka Police Area Command to ask for assistance in apprehending some local teenagers he said were harassing the neighborhood while under the influence of heavy drugs.
It was learnt that instead of allowing the police to carry out the arrest, Ezugwu allegedly stationed them at a spot in the community and proceeded on his mission with his Neighbourhood Watch personnel, during which Philip was shot and three others arrested and taken to the police station.
A witness who pleaded anonymity further revealed that “in the morning when the community dwellers learnt of what has happened, they trooped to the Police Area Command, Nsukka in their numbers with the President General of the community, Chief Joseph Alunona to lodge complaints.
On getting to the Area Command, the President General told the police that Mr. Okoro, a 20-year-old boy and the three other persons taken to the police station by the Neighbourhood Watch were not bad guys as alleged by the Chief Security Officer.
The young people were reportedly quickly freed by the local police, but Ezugwu and a member of his staff who were also allegedly involved in the event were immediately held in a police station and arrested.
On Thursday evening, it was gathered that Okoro had died at University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, (UNTH) Enugu following the bullet wounds he sustained during attack on him.
Infuriated by this despicable development, some young people in the neighborhood reportedly set fire to the homes of the alleged Neighbourhood Watch members, including the home of the land buyer.
Hybridnewsng’s attempts to reach Daniel Ndukwe, the Enugu State Police Command’s spokesperson, by phone were unsuccessful as of the time of publication.