The Nigeria Police Force on Friday dismissed the police corporal, Samuel Ojana, who shot and killed a bus driver in Onitsha on Thursday, for allegedly refusing to give him N20, which resulted in the violent protest in the city.
This came after prominent Igbo leaders insisted on the removal of all police checkpoints in the South East.
The police said Ojana was dismissed from service after an orderly room trial for the alleged killing of Mr. Edwin Eze, a bus driver.
The dismissed policeman, who has two wives (one of them pregnant), was, however, described as a quiet and peaceful person by his neighbours.
The Commissioner of Police in charge of Anambra, Ibrahim Muktari, and other senior police officers in the command has also relocated to Onitsha to monitor the security situation and build confidence in the residents, especially the Hausa community.
Ojana was arraigned before an Onitsha Chief Magistrate’s Court presided over by Mrs. Ngozi Okoye amid tight security on the orders of the CP.
The CP said: “The suspect, as you can see, has been dismissed after the orderly room trial and you saw him in the court today. That is to tell you that the police is committed to the rule of law and will not in any way shield anybody who has gone contrary to the law, which we swore to protect.
“It was unfortunate the incident happened, but remember, it was not deliberate, it could happen to anybody but still the police had to dismiss the suspect after finding him culpable of the offence and charge him to court; this is the level of our commitment in making sure that the law takes its full course.”
The police boss also debunked the insinuation that the suspect was an Hausa Muslim, which actually infuriated the youths in the area yesterday.
“The suspect is not an Hausa man, it is the wrong and bad approach to the matter. He is not a Muslim as you have heard the name, Samuel, then the issue is that a policeman is a policeman no matter where he comes from.”
He urged the residents and the Hausa community that fled to neighboring Asaba, the Delta State capital to return to their places of business, assuring them that peace had returned to the city.
Meanwhile, there was a renewed call by the leader of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazurike and other Igbo leaders for the immediate dismantling of all police checkpoints in the zone.
“The ideas of police checkpoints are primitive and ineffective. Everyday we have reports of people shot because of money and the extortion. The embarrassment suffered by people in the hands of these policemen is killing the economy of the South East. A situation where you have over 30 checkpoints from Onitsha to Awka, the state capital, a distance of about 20 kilometers is unacceptable”, he said.