The Abia State Commissioner of Police, Mr Eneh Okon, has confirmed the alleged killing of one Kasarachi Moses by SARS officers in Ubakala, Umuahia South Local Government Area.
This is even as the residents of Akpunmiri Ubakala, on Thursday, took to the streets to protest the death of their kinsman.
Information gathered states that the deceased was hit by a stray bullet from the gun of one of the policemen, who were reportedly trailing suspected armed robbers, on Wednesday.
A source in the community, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the victim died of the bullet injury she sustained.
The source lamented that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad operatives were in the habit of raiding the area to arrest commercial motorcyclists.
He added that it was during one of such raids that the deceased was hit by a stray bullet.
The source said, “The victim was a middle-aged woman, who sold fruits by the roadside. She was also the one taking care of her aged mother, who had been sick.
“It is a pity that she died in such a manner due to the recklessness of the policemen. All we want is justice in this matter. We want the state police command to investigate the incident and bring the culprits to justice.”
However, CP Okon, in a telephone interview on Friday, said that he was in Abuja for an official assignment when he learnt of the incident.
Okon narrated, “We got a distress call that armed robbers were operating at Ubakala and the SARS operatives responded to the distress call.
“But on sighting the SARS operatives, the armed robbers, who were five in number and operating in military uniform, started shooting at the policemen.
“It was during the exchange of gunfire that a stray bullet hit the victim, who later died in hospital.
“One of the suspects dropped his weapon and fled the scene, while the Sienna SUV used by the policemen for the operation had a lot of bullet holes.”
Okon added that a panel of inquiry had been set up to investigate the incident.
He urged members of the public to remain calm as efforts were ongoing to restore peace in the area.
He assured residents of the state that the command was working round the clock to ensure that they enjoyed a peaceful Christmas and New Year celebrations.
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