There was pandemonium in Owerri on Sunday, April 25 as soldiers on security duty in front of Imo State Government House Owerri, opened fire on a vehicle conveying four occupants, including a two hundred level student of Agricultural Science at the Imo State University, Divine Nwaneri who died at the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri as a result of complications arising from bullet wound.
Frank Odunna, one of the victims who survived the incident, said, he, in company of his friend, Ugochukwu Okoroigwe who came back from Indonesia and two others, were driving in a vehicle. “On getting to the government house roundabout, as if going towards Rockview Hotel, the guy that came back from Indonesia, who was driving the car, did not know that the government house roundabout had been blocked. Suddenly, we heard gun shots and stopped to know what the problem was. Lo and behold, Ugochukwu was hit on the neck by a bullet, while I fell inside a gutter and was not hit by the bullet fired indiscriminately by the soldiers. One of the ladies in the vehicle with us who was hit by a stray bullet died on the way to the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri”.
When contacted, Vincent Okoroigwe, father of Ugochukwu said, he was called by an unknown person at about 9.30pm who asked if he is Ugochukwu’s father and he said yes. “He told me to come quickly to government house roundabout. On getting there, I was told to rush my son to the hospital and should under no circumstance give him food or water even if he requests for them. I didn’t bother to ask questions about or what led to such situation. My only concern was to take him to hospital and save his life”.
He father revealed that,”When I got there, they cocked their guns and wanted to shot me. My saving grace was that I raised up my hands and shouted that I am the person you called few minutes ago”.
One of the victims identified as Divine Nwaneri, a year two Agricultural Science Student of the Imo State University (IMSU), Owerri who hailed from Isiala Mbano LGA, was seen lying lifeless at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri when our reporter visited on fact finding.
When also contacted, Omeziri Ray Ifeanyi who identified himself as the elder brother of Late Divine’s father said, he was also contacted and told to come to the Federal Medical Centre. When he got there, he found to his astonishment that Divine who was one of the occupants of the ill fated car that was being driven by the Indonesia returnee, Ugochukwu was already dead and the man who called him did not deem it fit to give him any explanation.