Anambra calls for probe of shooting at Onitsha Drugs market
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Anambra calls for probe of shooting at Onitsha Drugs market

Anambra State government has called for a high powered investigation into alleged shooting of a young man by operatives of the Special Anambra State Anti-Touting Squad (SASA) at Onitsha, commercial city of the state.

Commissioner for Information, Paul Nwosu in a statement on Sunday, said a through investigation into the incident had become necessary following claims in a viral video that the deceased was gunned down by operatives of SASA.

He provided an official version of what transpired last Friday the incident occurred, insisting that anyone found culpable for the heinous act be made to face the full wrath of the law.

He said, “On Friday the 16th of February, the Special Anambra State Anti-Touting Squad (SASA) was on its usual official assignment to rid the Niger Bridge Head area of Agboros (touts) extorting money from transport operators and buyers from the surrounding markets.

“In a bid to arrest the erring Agboros, some of them ran into the nearby Ogbo Ogu (pharmaceutical) market.

“As SASA went after the culprits, some of the market traders launched massive acid attacks on them. Four out the seven man SASA team sustained life threatening injuries from the acid attack and doctors are battling to save their lives in the hospital.

“As if the acid attack was not effective, the market security personnel started shooting at the unarmed SASA officials.

“When it was obvious that SASA could not arrest the Agboros in the market as a result of the life threatening attack against them, they retreated.

“It was at this point that the Nigerian Navy intervened to arrest the ugly situation

“In the process of exchanging fire with the market security, the young man in question was unfortunately hit by the bullet from the market’s security personnel

“Cartridges found around the young man (as evidenced in the video) belong to Pump Action rifles usually used by Vigilante Groups and Market Security personnel. The cartridges don’t fit into the model of service rifles used by the Nigerian Navy.

“It is therefore unfortunate that the commentator of the trending video spinned the detail of what happened, making the victim (SASA) to become the villain

“The tale by the market authority that the young man was shot because he was urinating is simply unintelligible.

“SASA officials are not OCHA Brigade or Sanitory Inspectors or Environmental Sanitation officers who have the responsibility to deal with such misdemeanour.

“SASA does not carry fire arms and couldn’t have shot the young man for whatever reason. Moreover, SASA’s brief is not to kill, but to arrest Agboros who are extorting money from hard working Ndi Anambra. And where arrests are made, the suapects are made to face the law.

“This incident brings into question the role of our informal private sector e.g. markets, motor parks, etc in the war against crime in order to make Anambra State the liveable and prosperous State that Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo CFR promised Ndi Anambra. A place where markets, transport services and sundry private sector initiatives should thrive.

“It is really unfortunate that a suspected violator of the law fleeing from arrest will be given protection by a legitimate market whose leadership is duly recognised by the Government of Anambra State. Meanwhile, market leaders were among the many major stakeholders who lent their voices to other Ndi Anambra in passionately requesting Governor Soludo to rid Anambra State of Agboros and extortionists.

“Government is calling on the Police to thoroughly investigate what led to this unfortunate incident and ensure that those responsible for this heinous act are made to face the full wrath of the law.”

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