The Igbo Traders Association, ITA, in Kano state has demanded for justice over killing of Tochukwu Iro, a patent medicine dealer who was on Wednesday shot by trigger-happy police officers attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, of the Kano state Police Command.
According to eyewitness accounts, Tochukwu was allegedly killed at about 12 noon Wednesday along France Road, opposite First Baptist Church in Sabon Gari area of the state.
One of the eyewitnesses told reporters: “On Wednesday afternoon, at about 12 noon, we saw Tochukwu walking along the road, as he tried to negotiate Illaro Road, two armed police men walked up to him. They came with tinted glass car.
They stopped the car close to First Baptist Church, crossed the road and ordered Tochukwu to stop.
“When he stopped, there was a mild argument between him and the two armed men; and one of them who was wearing Kaftan brought out a branded police rifle and shot him. When traders
around started shouting, the same man shot into the air and bundled the victim into a waiting tricycle, while his partner crossed the road, dashed into the car and zoomed off.”
While speaking during an emergency Press Conference organized by the Igbo Traders Association at the Abubakar Rimi Market, chairman of the traders, Chief Emmanuel Amadi who was visibly disturbed over the gruesome murder of Tochukwu insisted that justice must be done.
He stated that Tochukwu, aged 40, who hailed from Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra state, died at Murtala Muhammad Specialist hospital Thursday afternoon after a failed operation.
According to him, “on that Wednesday, I was attending a market Board meeting with General Manager of Abubakar Rimi Market, security chiefs and other stakeholders when I received a call that one of our members was shot by the police along France Road.
“I immediately told the market management and they asked me to get more details over the incident. We made arrangements to ensure that he was taken to hospital for treatment.
Around 9 p.m. on that Wednesday, I put a call across to Murtala Muhammad Hospital and I was told that he was responding to treatment.
“On Thursday morning, I called the hospital and was told that he was taken to the theatre for operation; but it was so sad that this afternoon (Thursday), we got the news that he could not survive the gun shot. As I am speaking to you now, Tochukwu is dead.
“I have his file here and I can attest to the fact that he was a peace-loving man. We have never known him as a criminal and that is why we wondered why such an innocent man could be killed in such a gruesome manner. Since the news of his death, we have not rested.
“The youths were here in our office this afternoon in protest over the killing of their brother. They are demanding for justice. On our own, we have pleaded with them not to take laws into their hands; and all we are saying is that the killers of Tochukwu must be made face
justice,” he stated.
Reacting to the incident in a statement signed by Kano Police Command Public Relations Officer, DSP Magaji Musa Majia, “the Kano State Police Command wishes to inform the public that on 27th July, 2016 at about 1200hrs a team of operatives attached to Special Anti-Robbery
Squad (SARS) based on tip off along France Road, stopped one Ogochukwu Augustine `m’ of Odutola Street S/gari but he refused to stop.
“He was subsequently pursued and while trying to escape, he was shot at the hipbone and immediately rushed to Murtala Specialist Hospital where he gave up the ghost while receiving treatment.
“The Commissioner of Police Kano State Alhaji Rabiu Yusuf has directed for immediate arrest and detention of the team leader and his men for interrogation at the State CIID Kano.
“He also summoned the Elders of Igbo Community in Kano where he sympathizes with them and assured that Justice will be done.
“The Commissioner of Police also stated that his primary assignment is to protect life and property and will not condone any Police personnel who risk the life of innocent citizens.
“The outcome of the investigation will be made public as soon as investigation is completed before further action taken,” the statement stated.