Fear Grips Enugu Community Over Killing Of 20-Year-Old Boy By Neighborhood Watchers

The deceased Phillip Okoro

By Frank Oshanugor

The people of Nkpologwu, an agrarian community in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State now live in fear following the killing of a 20-year old boy identified as Philip Okoro.

Barr. Chijioke Ezugwu, Suspected killer

AtlanticNewsonline sources said that Okoro was allegedly killed by a team of masked Neighbourhood Watch personnel led by the Chief Security Officer of the local government area, one Barr. Chijioke Ezugwu, who raided the deceased home at about 1am on Wednesday night and shot him when he tried to escape.

It was gathered that trouble began when Ezugwu, who was given the task of collecting tolls at Nkwo Market in the community by the local government authority, decided to be allocating land allegedly belonging to Umuobira community to highest bidders for the construction of stalls in the market without due consultations with the owners.

A member of the community who identified himself as Atom Joe disclosed that when he allegedly sold a portion of the land to one Anthony Ani, at the cost of N200,000, the youths of the community challenged him.

AtlanticNewsonline further gathered that Barr. Ezugwu who was angered by the challenge, approached Nsukka Police Area Command, seeking for police personnel to help him arrest some youths in the community whom he accused of terrorizing the people through the influence of hard 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.

Police authorities there, were said to have immediately released the boys while Ezugwu and one of his personnel who were involved in the incident were instantly arrested and detained in the police station even as others were currently at large.

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.

Irked by this ugly development, some youths in the community reportedly besieged the houses of the suspected Neighbourhood Watch members, including that of the buyer of the said land and set them ablaze.

AtlanticNewsonline efforts to hear from the spokesperson of the Enugu State Police Command, Daniel Ndukwe, proved fruitless as he could not be reached on phone as at press time.

Written by: Frank Oshanugor

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