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FG, Abia State govt at loggerheads over extra-judicial killing of petrol attendant in Aba

The federal and the Abia State governments are at loggerheads over the killing of an unarmed petrol attendant in the commercial town of Aba with the State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, insisting on justice for the shot Aba petrol attendant.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, had on Thursday blamed the death on a hit and run driver, saying 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.”

But Chief Kalu said that “nothing can be further from the truth!” He stated that the late petrol attendant is “a victim of extra-judicial killing,” adding 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. We are therefore shocked to read the statement credited to the Honorable Minister, as reported by the News Agency of Nigeria and published by several leading national newspapers. We believe that the Honorable Minister of Information may either have been misinformed or misquoted on the true state of affairs.

“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 a human life through obvious abuse of firearms.

“It is already a matter of public knowledge that the sad murder of Citizen Okameme is one too many involving trigger happy armed security agents in our state including the unfortunate murder of Mr Chimaobi Nworgu of Amaise Umuokereke Ngwa Village in Obingwa LGA.

“We are however consoled that our insistence on justice for Late Chimaobi led to the dismissal and trial of the Army officer involved. We will also not relent until justice is done in the instant case and others involving alleged extra judicial killings in Abia State.”

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