Tragedy struck at the Banana Junction in Orlu town of Imo State on Tuesday as a police inspector shot dead a 27-year-old man for not wearing a face mask.
The incident which happened around 3pm caused a storm in the area as youths, including traders, threatened to invade a nearby police station.
Our correspondent learnt that a detachment of police team had been drafted to the scene to rescue the situation.
An eyewitness told The PUNCH that the victim, a commercial motorcyclist, who was with a passenger, was reportedly shot on a close-range by one of the policemen who were on a stop-and-search duty.
The witness said, “A police inspector has shot and killed an okada rider at Banana Junction for not wearing a face mask. The policeman who stopped the man asked him why he was not wearing a face mask and one thing led to the other and he shot him on a close range and he died on the spot.
“The situation here is getting out of hands. The youths, okada riders, and traders are on rampage. Policemen have taken to their heels. Those at the police station have removed their police uniforms and are putting on plain cloths.”
But the state commissioner of police, Isaac Akinmodele, who confirmed the incident, however, did not give the identity of the inspector.
The CP said, “The situation is being managed. It is true that a policeman killed a man but the situation is not out of control. People whose loved ones were killed have a right to be angry. One of the policemen was also macheted and he is in a hospital as we speak.
“I have told all the parties to remain calm. The situation will be handled. I have instructed the area commander to ensure that normalcy is returned. Justice will be served in the matter.”