Imo residents demand justice for businessman killed by soldiers at checkpoint

Scores of residents of Owerri, the Imo State capital, on Tuesday, called on the President Muhammadu Buhari; the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru; and the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to identify and arrest the soldiers, who allegedly shot and killed an Owerri-based businessman, Noel Chigbu, on Friday.

The angry residents said the killing of Noel, whose wife is four months pregnant, on the allegation that he violated a military checkpoint rule at the Amakohia flyover in Owerri, was pure abuse of his fundamental human right.

A human rights activist, Paulcy Iwuala, called on Buhari to order the military authority to identify the soldiers, who murdered the 39-year-old businessman.

Iwuala, the founder of Genuine Eyes International Foundation, said lives no longer mean anything in the country.

He said, “It is painful to know that this young friend of mine was killed by the military; this is unbelievable; this guy was harmless and worked hard.

“Why are we suffering in this country? The same reason all these groups are springing up, yet these people won’t purge their brains from this attitude of killing the innocent.

“I am asking if military and police personnel are promoted for any person that is killed, because I don’t understand this.”

Another resident, Buni Aku, said, “Can you imagine this type of man’s inhumanity to a fellow man? And will any of the killer soldiers survive Boko Haram bullets?”

Cajethan Onuoha stated, “He (Noel) didn’t sleep with their wives. He was not caught in an armed robbery operation. He was not a terrorist.

“He violated their checkpoint rules. That was just the reason why they pulled the trigger and shot an innocent man, then had the mind to take the corpse to a mortuary and his car to the police station.”

Godwin Odiegwu said, “These men do not want to change; they are killing innocent people at will. Whoever kills with the gun must die by the gun.”

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