The Anambra State Police Command says it has gunned down a man fleeing with 15 bags of a substance suspected to be Indian hemp.
It was gathered that the incident, which occurred at Nkpor, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, caused pandemonium, during which a police patrol van and other valuables were set ablaze.
In a statement made available in Awka by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Nkeiruka Nwode, the police described the incident as unfortunate.
Nwode said the incident happened at about 6pm on Friday at Tarzan Junction, on the Onitsha-Enugu Expressway.
She said a police patrol team on a stop-and-search duty had attempted to stop a driver in a Toyota Camry car for routine check, but the driver refused to stop.
The PPRO said the police team had to chase the suspect from the DMGS Junction and eventually caught up with him at Tarzan Junction where the suspect resisted their attempt to search his car, resulting in a scuffle.
She said in the melee, the police shot the victim and he died on the spot.
The statement read partly, “At about 1800hrs of 20/10/2017, a police patrol team on a stop-and-search duty stopped the driver of a Toyota Camry vehicle for routine check.
“However, the driver failed to stop as directed. He was chased by the police team from Dennis Memorial Grammar School Roundabout, Onitsha, and subsequently arrested at Tarzan Junction, Nkpor as a result of traffic build-up.
“In a bid to search the vehicle properly, a melee ensued and the driver was shot by the policemen. Unfortunately, the driver died on the spot.
“A thorough search of the vehicle revealed 15 bags of weeds suspected to be Indian hemp. Consequently, an angry mob set ablaze a security pick-up van that was seen approaching the junction. The driver of the vehicle escaped unhurt.
“Sadly, a motor boy in an approaching trailer, on sighting the angry mob, jumped down from the trailer and lost his life on the spot. He was reported to have been crushed to death by a hit-and-run vehicle.”
Nwode said the police officers involved in the incident were in custody and undergoing interrogation.
She added, “Some miscreants, unaware of the true facts behind the incident, took advantage of the situation and gathered for a mob action.”
She appealed to members of the public, especially those who witnessed the incident, to feel free to provide information to the police to help in their investigation.