The Anambra State Police Command has debunked stories making the rounds that three persons were killed in Onitsha last Friday during the flag off campaign of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 18 poll in the state, Dr. Tony Nwoye.
In a statement made available to Press in Awka yesterday, by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Nkeiruka Nwode, the command absolved the APC of any killing during the rally.
The command said there was no iota of truth in the stories trying to link the APC with the fracas that happened at Nkpor near Onitsha same day.
The command warned the people of the area to avoid spreading rumours capable of heating up the polity.
The opponents of the APC in the election had made political capital from the incident, accusing the party and its candidate, Nwoye, of having the penchant of causing mayhem.
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, 12 APC governors, 17 ministers and no fewer than 25 members of the National Assembly attended the rally.
While dissociating the APC from the killing, the police command said it had become necessary to set the record straight.
The statement read in part: “Following the shooting incident and disturbance of public peace at Tarzan Junction, Nkpor, along the popular Enugu-Onitsha Expressway on October 20, 2017, the police command wishes to set the records straight.
“At about 6pm on 20/10/2017, a police patrol team on stop and search duties stopped the driver of a suspected Camry vehicle for routine check.
“The driver failed to stop as directed. He was chased by the police team from Dennis memorial Grammar School (DMGS) roundabout, Onitsha and subsequently accosted at Tarzan Junction, Nkpor as a result of traffic build-up.
“In a bid to search the vehicle properly, a melee ensued and the driver was shot by police.
“Unfortunately the driver died on the spot. A thorough search of the vehicle revealed 15 bags of weeds suspected to be Indian hemp.”
Nwode said angry mob in the area had to set ablaze security pick-up van that was seen approaching the junction, adding that the driver of the vehicle escaped unhurt.
She added: “Sadly, a motor boy on an approaching trailer vehicle on sighting the angry mob jumped down from the trailer and lost his life at the spot. He was reported to have been crushed to death by a hit-and-run vehicle.
The PPRO noted that miscreants unaware of the true facts behind the incident took advantage of the situation to gather for a mob action.
She said: “The command wishes to use this medium to warn against spreading false rumours targeted to heat up the polity as the incident has no connection with any political party or its activities.”