Soldiers kill a businessman in his car at an Owerri checkpoint and then lie to the witness.

Soldiers kill a businessman in his car at an Owerri checkpoint and then lie to the witness

Soldiers allegedly shot and killed a businessman, Noel Chigbu, five days after allegedly killing a 100-level student at Imo State University, Divine Nwaneri, in front of the state Government House.


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Tobechi Chigbu, the victim’s elder brother and family spokesman, told PUNCH Metro on Monday that military personnel at the Amakohia flyover in Owerri killed Noel about 10 p.m. on Friday.
He said Noel was assassinated on the day he received his new Camry car and was heading home at the end of the workday.
Tobechi, who was in tears, said Noel was killed while driving home after dropping off a neighbor.

He told our correspondent that it was the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations in the state who told the family that the soldiers said they shot him because he violated their checkpoint law.
“Noel was one of my younger brothers,” Tobechi said. He would have been 39 years old on May 18, but he was killed the day he received his new car. The soldiers who killed him dumped his body at the Federal Medical Centre in Owerri.
“The Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations told us that the military men who took his car to the command headquarters said they killed him because he violated their checkpoint rule.”
He said that his family would see to it that the soldiers who murdered his brother were captured and punished.

“Noel was the owner of Shawarma Zone in front of the Home Away Palace by Ukaigwe Hospital, Akwakuma junction, Owerri,” Tobechi explained. He had just dropped off his neighbor, who also does business with him, in front of the Amakohia Market. On Friday, April 30, it was about 10 p.m. His mate, whom he dropped off, said he heard gunshots not more than three minutes after he alighted from the vehicle in the location Noel drove to. He had no idea it was his friend who had been shot by the soldiers.
“His (Noel’s) whereabouts were unclear because he failed to return home that night. His wife became concerned and began calling us. The phone rang, but no one answered it until around 5.30 p.m. the next day. One individual picked it up and said he was a police officer at the control room at the state police command headquarters in Owerri, and he invited us to come with him.
“At first, we thought he had an issue with anyone, not realizing that the military men had murdered him and dumped his body in a morgue at the FMC in Owerri. When we arrived at the police command headquarters, my brother identified his new vehicle, and when we approached it, we discovered that the rear windscreen had been fired. All four tyres had been deflated. There was even blood on the driver’s seat. My younger brother, Chika Chigbu, recognized the danger right away.
“The front windscreen and all of the window glasses were in good condition. Gunshots just broke the back screen.”

“When we arrived, they guided us to the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations, who told us that soldiers brought the vehicle about 1 a.m. on Saturday,” he added. The solders left his phone, car key, and a slew of keys to his house with the cops. He also said that the military personnel dropped N5,400 belonging to my brother.
“At first, he said that the military men did not want to make a comment, but the police insisted, and reluctantly, the soldiers wrote in a quarter-page sheet that the owner of the vehicle breached their checkpoint law, and they shot and killed him. They also mentioned that the relatives of the vehicle’s owner should be directed to the FMC in Owerri if the vehicle was stolen.
Tobechi said that the family would make a formal presentation to the military in order to obtain justice for his child.
“As we talk, Noel’s wife is four months pregnant. He had a son, who turned two years old on the same day that my brother was killed by soldiers. His child is just four years old. We want to see justice served for an innocent and hardworking young man like my brother. He was murdered by people who were supposed to defend him and were paying by our taxes,” he said.
Lieutenant Babatunde Zubairu, spokesman for the 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze, Owerri, said he was unaware of the incident when contacted.


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