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Police appeal for calm as mob set station ablaze in Anambra

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A police station in Igboukwu, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, was set ablaze yesterday by a mob over the alleged killing of a commercial motorcyclist by a police officer in the area.

Irate youths took to the major streets, making bonfires and barricading the ever-busy Nnobi-Igboukwu-Ekwulobia road over the alleged shooting of a commercial motorcycle operator by the police.

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An eyewitness, who gave his name as Goddy, said the police station was set ablaze around 8:00 a.m. Trouble began when some policemen on duty killed an okada rider over extortion in the area on Tuesday night, according to him.
 
He said: “As I am talking to you, the place is in flames. The mob, made up of commercial motorcycle operators, are moving to Ekwulobia police station now to also set the station there ablaze.”
 
It was gathered trouble started as the news of the alleged killing spread. The riders waited till the early hours of yesterday before taking laws into their own hand.
 
A resident of the area, who pleaded to remain anonymous, said: “The bike operator was flagged down by some policemen who questioned him on why he was riding when there was an order that they should not operate once it is 9:00 p.m. He told the policemen that it was just past 8:00 p.m. but his response did not go down well with the policemen who attempted to confiscate his motorcycle while the man put up resistance.
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“By this time, passers-by who had sympathy for the man, intervened, which led to a heated argument between them and the police, resulting in the shooting to death of the okada rider by the police. The youths, in retaliation, mobilised and made straight for the police station, setting it ablaze.”
 
A police spokesperson, Haruna Mohammed, confirmed the incident, saying the Commissioner of Police, John Abang, had ordered the arrest of the cops while appealing for calm.
 
He said: “On Tuesday, around 10:30 p.m., there was an altercation between police operatives and motorcycle riders over some impounded motorcycles as a result of the recent restriction on movement of motorcycles beyond 9:00 p.m. in the state.
 
“The situation degenerated into chaos, which led to an accidental discharge that hit one motorcycle rider and burning of Igboukwu police station by irate youths.
 
“The Commissioner of Police, John Abang, is deeply saddened by the unfortunate incident and has ordered for the detention of the policemen involved and full-scale investigation into the matter. The CP further appealed for calm and assured the public that justice would be done in the case and the outcome of police investigation shall be made public in due course.”

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