There was palpable tension at Ijegwu community in Obi local government area of Benue State following the alleged shooting of a student by a police officer, weekend, after a heated argument.
Vanguard gathered from an eyewitness that the victim, Augustine Ajom, a student, allegedly engaged the police officer, who was armed with an AK 47 rifle, in a heated argument over a missing phone when the policeman allegedly shot him.
According to our source at Obarike-Ito, headquarters of Obi local government area, the police officer was part of a team dispatched to Oju on a special assignment from the Otukpo Area Command when the unfortunate incident occurred.
Vanguard gathered that the shooting of the student elicited angry reaction from members of Ijegwu community who went haywire and manhandled one of the policemen.
The angry villagers allegedly went further to set ablaze the Volkswagen Golf car which was used for the special mission by the policemen.
Meanwhile, victims of the mob attack and the shot student are said to be receiving treatment at the Obarike-Ito General Hospital after being transferred from a clinic at Itakpa.
Reacting to the incident, Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP, Daniel Ezeala denied that the police shot anybody in the fracas.
According to him, “a mob in the said village attacked the police men on patrol duties, for an unjustifiable reasons; they also went a step further to set ablaze their car after thoroughly manhandling one of the police men. There is no truth in their claim that our men shot a student of the community before the attack; it is absolutely false”.
In his reaction after visiting the scene of the crisis, Chairman of Obi local government council, Mr Odeh Michael appealed to the people of Ijegwu, Opirikwu and Okpokwu to remain calm and allow the law take its full course in the matter.