Protesting youths of Oruku community in the Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State on Sunday set no fewer than seven houses and several vehicles on fire following the killing of the traditional ruler, Igwe Emmanuel Mba, by suspected operatives of the newly-formed police Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT).
According to local media reports, the suspected SWAT operatives, led by one Inspector Danladi, shot the monarch while addressing members of his community at the town hall on Saturday and bled to death before he could get medical attention.
One Mr Agozie Ani, who was also at the meeting, was said to be arrested by the police.
Speaking to newsmen, community sources said that the policemen, who were in mufti and wielding AK-47 rifles, invaded the venue of the meeting in an SUV and a Sienna around 2 pm on Saturday, adding that immediately they alighted from the vehicle, they moved into the hall and sought to see the monarch.
They were said not to have disclosed their mission but instead sought to see the monarch.
According to one of the sources, the policemen were escorted to the town hall by three natives of Oruku identified as Emmanuel Nwobodo, Onyema Edeh, and Sunday Onunze. They also left with the cops in the same vehicles.
They were reported to have come with the team and left with the cops when the atmosphere turned bloody.
The source stated, “The traditional ruler was presiding over the meeting, and the three natives pointed at him; immediately one of the policemen shot him on the thigh, and he fell and was bleeding.
“There was confusion after the monarch was shot. Everybody in the hall ran for safety as the armed men started shooting in all directions. Amidst the confusion, they made attempts to arrest some of those at the meeting.”
It was gathered that the traditional ruler, who was elected by his community on December 26, 2019, bled to death before he could get medical attention.
Another source told SaharaReporters that the policemen took the bleeding monarch and Ani to the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Parklane when they noticed that Mba was dying, but the hospital refused to admit him and told the cops that there was no bed space.
“They were referred to the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu, but on arrival, doctors at the Emergency Unit pronounced the monarch dead.”
His corpse was deposited in the National Orthopaedic Hospital mortuary. The whereabouts of Agozie remains unknown.
The SWAT team was appointed by the Nigeria’s IGP to replace the errant SARS squad accused of violent crimes and harassment of citizens, especially the youth class, which led to a nationwide protest.
It has barely been up to a quarter since they started operations and disturbing reports have already been about them, negating the IGP’s words that the SWAT team would be a better mentally trained outfit.
NEWS/PHOTO SOURCE: SaharaReporters | News Agencies