Police in Abia State on Monday, April 6, 2020, confirmed the arrest of Inspector Stanley Azuh attached to Ohuru-Ishimiri Police Division at Ogbor-Hill, Aba, for allegedly killing Chibuisi Godwin.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the incident happened in Ogbor-Hill along New Umuahia Road in Aba on Sunday, April 5, 2020.
A police source, who did not want his name in print, said that Godwin was shot while Azuh was enforcing Abia Government’s stay-at-home’ directive, meant to contain the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.
He said that Azuh, who was attempting to stop a vehicle that violated the lockdown order, had mistakenly touched his riffle’s trigger, releasing the bullet that hit Godwin, who later died in the hospital.
Ene Okon, the Abia Police commissioner, while confirming the arrest of the officer said that the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, has taken over the matter.
Okon said that the police as an institution does not take such a careless attitude to human life lightly.
“That police Inspector was arrested immediately and detained, as I am talking to you, SCID has taken over the matter and they are investigating the police inspector for murder.
“We have our rules of engagement, we have our standards of operation and procedures and we have our own Force Order 237 as reviewed.
“That order has to do with when a police officer has to use his firearm and it will be justified. It’s not an excuse for you to say accidental discharge.
“A trained officer on such assignment should put his rifle on safety mode; the riffle has a safety mode and once you put it there, it will not just release anyhow.
“So, it is not an excuse that he mistakenly touched the trigger. That’s why we detained him and are seriously investigating the whole matter,” Okon said.
NAN gathered that the late Godwin was a staff of Greenmac Energy Ltd, a Petroleum Company that deals on fuel and Kerosene in Ogbor-Hill, Aba.
The deceased was believed to have come out for work as usual, as his line of business was among those classified as essential services, and not restricted by the lockdown order, when he met his death.