Accident – Death – Obituary News : Stray Bullet from Alleged Anti-Tout Operatives Claims Young Man’s Life in Anambra State
On Thursday, chaos erupted along the Onitsha-Owerri Road by Obodoukwu Junction in Onitsha, Anambra State, when a young man tragically lost his life due to a stray bullet fired by individuals suspected to be operatives of the Anambra State Anti-touts Agency. The victim, identified as Chimezie from Achina, Aguata Local Government Area, was standing on the balcony of his residence near Okpoko Police Station in Ogbaru Local Government Area when the bullet struck him, ending his life abruptly.
Heartbreakingly, Chimezie had recently completed his National Youth Service Corps, marking a significant milestone in his life. The news of his untimely demise has sent shockwaves through the community, leaving his loved ones mourning the loss of a promising young individual.
The incident sparked outrage among local youths, who promptly organized a protest march from the Metallurgical Training Institute along the Onitsha-Owerri Road to the Amanato area towards Upper Iweka flyover. In a show of defiance and frustration, they set bonfires on both lanes of the road, effectively disrupting the flow of traffic and drawing attention to their grievances.
According to a source close to the situation, the protest was in response to the constant arrests, intimidation, and harassment of youths in the area by members of the anti-tout squad. These individuals, suspected to be agents of the state government, don various uniforms and act as revenue collectors while exploiting tricycle operators. Under the guise of collecting revenue for the state, they extort exorbitant amounts ranging from N300 to N500 per trip.
During the protest, the anti-tout operatives suddenly emerged and began firing their weapons indiscriminately into the air, seemingly attempting to disperse the demonstrators. However, their reckless actions resulted in widespread panic among residents and traders who were conducting their daily commercial and business activities. Unfortunately, in the midst of the chaos, a bullet found its way to a young man standing on his balcony, claiming his life in an instant.
Another witness, a trader known as Ozoemenam, shared his account of the incident, stating that the victim sustained fatal gunshot wounds from a stray bullet while he was engaged in a conversation on his balcony. The sudden and senseless loss of life shocked the community, leaving them grappling with grief and anger.
Authorities from Okpoko Police Station were called to the scene to remove the deceased victim’s body and transport it to the local mortuary for further examination. A senior police officer, speaking anonymously, confirmed the tragic death and acknowledged the ongoing concerns surrounding the anti-tout operatives’ actions. The officer revealed that the youths had been protesting against their relentless arrests, detentions, and intimidation in areas such as Owerri Road, Obodoukwu Road, and Ezeiweka.
It is important to note that the officer expressed his belief that the anti-tout squad members lacked proper training in handling firearms, suggesting that the fatal shot may have been fired unprofessionally.
Despite attempts to reach the Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, Ikenga Tochukwu, for comment, there has been no response at the time of filing this report.
The tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the need for stricter gun control measures and improved training for law enforcement personnel. As the community mourns the loss of a young life, questions arise regarding the accountability and responsibility of those entrusted with public safety. It is crucial that a thorough investigation is conducted to bring justice to the victim and prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future..