THE 82 Division of the Nigerian Army In Enugu has reportedly detained one Lance Cpl. Ajayi Johnson, suspected to be the killer soldier of a commercial cyclist at Umuokereke Ngwa, Obingwa Local Government Area, Abia State.
In a statement, Saturday, in Enugu, the Deputy Director of Army Public Relations in the division, Col. Aliyu Yusuf, said the army has also commenced investigations on the killing.
The commercial cyclist, Chimaobi Nwaogu, was reportedly killed by a soldier, who chased him into his compound and shot him in the back at close range, killing him on the spot.
The statement disclosed that Johnson was on illegal duty at the time of the incident, on August 7.
Stated Yusuf: “Investigation on the incident revealed that Johnson was one of the soldiers deployed for security duties at Forward Operations Base in Ohanze but absconded from his duty post to an unknown destination.
“He was reported to have been involved in a scuffle that led to the shooting and killing of Nwaogu.”
Yusuf said that Johnson been arrested, adding that disciplinary procedures in line with extant military laws had commenced.
“If found culpable, he will be dismissed and handed over to the civil police for prosecution.
“The Nigerian Army deeply regrets this unfortunate incident and prays for the repose of the soul of the deceased.
“May the Almighty God strengthen the family of the deceased, his loved ones and the entire residents of Abia State for this irreparable loss,” Yusuf stated.
Sad Ikpeazu, vows to get justice
Meanwhile, Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, on a condolence visit to the bereaved family at their Ezido Na Ife Village, had announced that the suspected killer soldier had been arrested and was being detained.
He thanked the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ene Okon, who accompanied him on the visit, for the swift response of the Police to the matter.
The governor vowed that he will pursue the matter to its logical conclusion.
Late Nwaorgu who left behind an aged mother, a wife and two infants, all males, was reportedly shot dead Wednesday afternoon in their compound by a trigger-happy soldier who shot him from behind at close range.
Reports said the offence of the deceased was that he refused to part with N100 which commercial motorcyclists are forced to pay at the Ohanze military checkpoint.
It was gathered that when Nwaorgu refused to stop when flagged down, the alleged killer soldier chased him 25 kilometres from the checkpoint, into his compound and shot him in the back.
Describing the killing of Nwaorgu as wicked and cowardly, Ikpeazu said: “This is one murder too many. We will do everything possible under the law to get this murderous soldier and bring him to justice.
“Whatever it takes, we will do. We will go to Abuja or any other place to ensure that this soldier doesn’t go scot free. The death of this young man is extremely painful and cannot go in vain. This is my position and this is the position of the Government and people of Abia.”
He described it as sad that a security personnel, paid and maintained with tax payers money, would turn around to kill the very person he was paid to secure.
The Governor wondered why a soldier will pursue an unarmed man from Ohanze Village all the way to Umuokereke Ngwa, a distance of about 25 kilometers and shot him from behind, at point blank range.
The Governor assured the family that he would personally ensure that the young family was not allowed to suffer.
Ikpeazu pleaded with the family to take heart and accept the sad incident with philosophical calmness and advising against violent demonstrations, which could aggravate the already charged situation.