Imo businessman killed at military checkpoint


Noel Chigbu, a businessman has been shot dead at a military checkpoint in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

Chigbu, 39, was returning home whe he was allegedly killed by soldiers manning the Amakohia Flyover checkpoint about 10pm on Friday..

His eldest brother Tobechi told journalists on Monday that Noel, who operated a Shawarma shop, was killed after dropping off his friend.

Tobechi quoted an unnamed Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations in the state as saying that the soldiers claimed Noel was shot because he “violated their checkpoint rule.”

Noel Chigbu

“His body was dumped at the FMC [Federal Medical Centre] in Owerri by the soldiers who killed him. The Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations told us that the military men who brought his car to the command headquarters said that they killed him for violating their checkpoint rule,” Tobechi said.

He said that the family was going to make sure that the military men who killed his brother were identified and prosecuted.

Tobechi said Noel’s wife was worried when he did not return home, and kept calling his phone, which rang out.

“The number was ringing and nobody was picking it until about 5:30 in the evening the next day. One person picked it and said that he is a policeman that works at the control room at the state police command headquarters in Owerri and asked us to come.

They identified Noel’s car at the police command, Chigbu said, adding, “when we approached the car we found out the back windscreen was shot. All the four tyres were shot and deflated. We also saw blood on the driver’s seat. The front windscreen and all the window glasses were intact. Only the back windscreen was shattered.

“The Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations in charge of operations told us that soldiers brought the vehicle about 1am on Saturday, dropped his phone, the car key and a bunch of keys containing his house keys with the police. He also said that the military guys dropped N5,400, belonging to my brother.”

Spokesperson of 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze, Owerri, Capt. Babatunde Zubairu denied knowledge of the incident, but when pressed further, he said he would only respond to the reporters enquiries if an official presentation was made.

Police spokesman Orlando Ikeokwu did not take the reporter’s calls, nor did he respond to a text message.

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