Chidiebube Okeoma, Owerri
Tragedy struck in Amandugba, in the Isu Local Government Area of Imo State on Sunday, after a mob allegedly hacked a police sergeant, Chijioke Okorie, to death for allegedly killing a hotel guest, Ojiegbe Azuoku.
Our correspondent learnt on Monday that the incident occurred at Golden C, a newly opened hotel in the area.
The hotel was said to be close to the Isu Police Divisional Headquarters, where the slain cop was reportedly working before his death.
According to an indigene of the community, who did not want his name in print, there had been a fight in the hotel around 8.45pm.
The fracas, our correspondent gathered, attracted the attention of policemen who were on duty at the time.
On getting to the hotel, Sergeant Okorie was said to have fired into the crowd, which led to the death of one of the hotel guests.
People in the area were alleged to have attacked the sergeant and hacked him to death.
The development, PUNCH Metro gathered, threw the community in turmoil, as residents, hotel guests and policemen scampered to safety.
A source said, “The ugly incident happened on Sunday night. There was a fight at Golden C, a newly opened hotel. The fight attracted the attention of some policemen on duty at the Isu Divisional Police Headquarters, which is nearby.
“On getting to the scene, one of the policemen opened fire on the crowd without any provocation. One of the guests fell and died before he could be rushed to a hospital.
“The people around went on the rampage and hacked the trigger-happy sergeant to death. As we speak, there is tension in the area. People, including policemen, are running helter-skelter.”
Confirming the tragedy, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Andrew Enwerem, a Superintendent of Police, said the state Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike, had ordered investigation into the case.
Enwerem, who said the police had restored normalcy to the area, noted that the command had commenced the process of arresting those responsible for the death of the cop.
He said, “There was a fracas at a hotel known as Golden C at Amandugba around 8.45pm on Sunday.
“The fracas attracted the attention of the policemen on duty at the Isu Divisional Police Headquarters. On getting to the scene, one of the policemen was said to have shot into the crowd. One person lost his life. The victim was from the Nwangele Local Government Area.
“The people then took the law into their own hands and beat the sergeant to death.
“Inasmuch as we condemn the unwarranted opening of firearm, we also frown on the jungle justice by the mob. We have begun the process of identifying those who administered the jungle justice for arrest.
“The Commissioner of Police has called for immediate investigation into the matter. Normalcy has returned to the area. People are encouraged to go about their lawful business as the police are on top of the situation.”
PUNCH Metro gathered that the corpses of the guest and the policeman had been deposited in a mortuary.
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