From Ikenna Maxwell
The cloud of pain and agony that gathered over the Umucheke Village in Umunze through the death of young Emmanuel Eze may take a while to clear.
Two weeks ago, Emmanuel was gunned down by a trigger-happy Police officer while returning from the shop he went to buy soap.
Emmanuel’s younger brother, Samuel told HOMELAND NEWS that of more pain to the family and the entire village is that the police authorites have also refused to release his corpse for burial.
Samuel recounted how the incident took place. He said he was killed when some youths were protesting to the police station in the community.
“Emmanuel deals in palm kernel in the village market, and just got back from his business at about 4pm on the fateful day, and after a brief stay with his family
decided to buy soap to take his bathe but was hacked down by a police officer who shot him straight in the head.”
“Some protesters from another village, Ndikpa whose land had been sold, and who were protesting incessant arrest of their youths by the buyer were on their way to the police station on a protest, and were just approaching the station when police officers made to stop them and one drew a pistol and shot Emmanuel who just
bought soap to bathe.”
Samuel said the family has no reason to suspect anyone because “we are the landlord of the police in Umunze, and we have had a cordial relationship with the police, but the way my brother was shot is still suspicious. He had bought soap and was going home when he heard gunshots, and he made to use a track road back home, when he was shot in the head from the back.”
“Assuming he was part of the protesters and was attacking the police
as they said, he would have been facing the police and would not have
been shot in the head from the back. Our problem now is that we have
been neglected by the police. Since after the killing, no one has come
to us to say sorry, and the most agonizing is that we have not also
seen the corpse of our brothers.
The community through a petition signed by the chairman, Sylvester Madumere and secretary, Livinus Nwafor sent to the Anambra State police commissioner is requesting that the police officer who shot and killed their son should be prosecuted, adequate compensation paid to the family in view of the fact that he was the breadwinner and an immediate release of the corpse.
Police Public Relations Officer of the Anambra state command, Uche Eze said the police are willing to release the corpse, but it cannot be released to the streets except the owners come forth.
He argued that no sane police man would shoot a man on purpose, except the man constitutes a threat to the society, or to him. He insisted that the police has rules of engagement and may have been violated for the police to have shot.
He recalled that on the day of the protest, the protesters had burnt down a hotel and were advancing to the police station to raze it when the police reacted by dispersing the crowd. He justified the action of the police saying that this may be the reason for the killing. What the Police image maker did not deny was that the deceased was not part of the protest but murdered in cold blood.