Two out of the three young men who survived the bullets shot at them by a Police Sergeant, Wilson Ufere, said they saw the Police officer shoot 16-year-old Obinna Iwuoha to death on Thursday evening at Okohia community in Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State.
Chukwuebuka Donatus, 24; and Tochukwu Uzoukwu, 25, who spoke to our correspondent on Friday on their hospital beds in Orodo, Mbaitoli Local Government Area of the state shortly after waking up from coma, said the trigger-happy policeman shot the teenager at a close range, killing him instantly.
Uzoukwu, a fresh graduate of Imo State university, Owerri, who spoke with pain, lamented that the killing of the senior secondary one boy was the most gruesome incident he had ever witnessed.
He said, “I saw with my two eyes as the Police officer released the bullet that killed the young boy instantly. He shot directly at a close range, which terminated his life.”
Uzoukwu, who said he had gone to the farm to drive his ailing mother home before stopping to witness the altercation between the Police officers who were at the place for a road duty and a group of youths, mostly teenagers, said the Police officer who killed the lad and also shot three others, including himself, was not the one who had the heated arguments with the teenagers who were on a church procession that Thursday evening.
One of the survivors, Tochukwu Uzoukwu Another survivor, Chukwuebuka Donatus.
He said, “The Police officer who shot us was not at the scene of the argument. He was not in the picture at all. He was at the other side of the road and only crossed the tarred road to shoot Obinna dead before injuring three of us with the careless bullets he shot ceaselessly at the teenagers and those of us at the other side of the road.”
Uzoukwu, who writhed in pain as he spoke, asserted that the Sergeant, together with his colleagues, abandoned him and the other victims to die and made off with Obinna’s corpse.
On how he found himself in the hospital, Uzoukwu, who cried uncontrollably as he spoke, said the injury he sustained from the shooting could stop him from participating in the National Youth Service Corps next batch.
Another survivor, Donatus, whose father is currently in the mortuary, disclosed that he was called by the teenagers to bring money for them to repair a flat tyre, but he and the commercial motorcyclist who took him there became victims of the shooting spree.
While he was shot on his two legs, Donatus said the motorcyclist who was still in a coma in an undisclosed hospital as of the time of filing this report, was shot in the stomach.
The doctor who is handling the victims’ bone fractures told our correspondent that it would take a minimum of three months for the survivors to start walking.
When our correspondent visited the family home of the late teenager, the mother, Catherine Iwuoha, a widow, accused the Police officers of deliberately killing her son.
Flanked by her other children and sympathisers, the widow, who was inconsolable, said her son went to the church rally from school on her approval.
When contacted, the Police spokesperson in the state, Andrew Enwerem, said the Sergeant was already in their custody and did not run away as speculated.
Enwerem said Ufere would be tried and if found guilty would be dismissed from the Force before being tried in the court of law for murder.