Family of Chibuisi Okaneme, a petrol station attendant allegedly killed by a policeman in Aba Abia State during the COVID-19 lockdown last year, yesterday demanded a compensation of N50 million and the release of his body for burial. The family presented the demand to the Abia State Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality and other related offences in Umuahia after narrating how Chibuisi was killed, allegedly by Inspector Stanley Azu of Ohuru Ishimiri Police Station, Aba. The victim’s elder brother, Mr. Kelechi Chimezie, who is the petitioner, pleaded the compensation of N50 million.
The petitioner’s counsel, C. C. Nwachukwu, prayed the court to also grant an order for the police to release the body of the deceased to the family for burial. Also the Manager, Green- Mark Filling Station, Aba, where Chibuisi was worked, Mr. Ndubuisi Nwabeke, narrated how the victim was killed by a trigger-happy policeman on April 5, 2020. Nwabeke appeared as a key witness before the panel for and on behalf of ChibuisiOkameme. He said: “On that day, there was lockdown but the government allowed filling stations to operate as essential workers (organisations).
“I was in my office as the manager, but Chibuisi, who was a pump attendant, was outside selling. I heard someone shouting ‘you will kill me oh, I am sick oh’. “I rushed out of my office, I saw some policemen with a mini-bus blocking a Lexus car in front of the filling station. The officers were beating the driver of the Lexus who happened to be our customer.
The policemen were also hitting the man with their gun, try ing to drag him out of his car. That was why the man was shouting. “The man had fruits and drugs in his car. I made to approach the policemen to plead with them but the deceased, Chibuisi, had already gone before me, so I went back. “I stayed behind watching. Chibuisi was pleading with the police officers to leave the man as he was sick and also our customer. “As Chibuisi was begging, Inspector Stanley, who was inside the mini-bus, alighted with his gun hanged on his shoulder.
The inspector pointed the gun at the deceased, saying repeatedly, ‘I will shoot you’. He point ed the gun at the deceased and shot him. “Immediately, he fell down and blood was gushing out. “The policemen at that point, wanted to run away, but an Army officer, who was close by, stopped them. He asked the policemen to take Chibuisi to the hospital. “The policemen and passersby took Chibuisi to the hospital in the Lexus car. “I didn’t follow immediately; I locked up the office and kept money safe before I traced them to Teaching Hospital, Aba. “The doctors tried to resuscitate him but he went into coma and was placed on oxygen and later died in the hospital.