There was tension and uproar in Orlu, yesterday, as the much talked about police brutality, extortion, harassment and intimidation of citizens who they are supposed to protect, once again reared it’s ugly head. This time around, a young boy,aged 27, identified as Ukachukwu Mbagwu, an Okada man, who hails from Abara, Okporo in Orlu LGA, was shot dead by a police man at Banana Junction, Orlu, over his refusal to give bribe because he did not wear face mask.
According to an eye witness account, the boy who was riding on his motorcycle alone, without a passenger, was accosted by the police at Banana Junction and asked why he did not wear a face mask. He politely told them that he forgot it at home and could go back to get it. The police men then asked him for money, in lieu of the face mask and he explained that he had none. “An argument ensued and they shot the boy on the head. He slumped and died instantly. The police men immediately ran away”.
As at the time of filing this report, aggrieved youths, numbering over 300 were seen marching towards Ama hausa where they said the officer lives with his brothers. They accused the police of serial extortion, harassment and necessary threats.
They complained of the activities of police men, who have converted the popular Banana Junction at Orlu into a toll gate, where anybody who refuses to pay is dealt with mercilessly. “Some unscrupulous and criminal minded officials instead of concentrating on their job, also parade the streets of Orlu, arresting and framing up innocent people, especially youths, who they threaten, intimidate and take to POS outlets to withdraw money and give them or they will be accused and detained on trumped up charges in a bid to extort huge sums from them and their parents”, they lamented.
It was also reported that, youths who were angered by the murder of Ukachukwu Mbagwu, invaded Ama Hausa at Nkwu Ito, Orlu and vandalized their shops.
Efforts to reach the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Orlando Ikokwu, for comments proved abortive, as he did not respond to calls and text message.