The Imo State Police Command has declared wanted an Inspector, who allegedly shot dead a 25-year-old man, Ikenna Ukachi, on Monday.
The incident, which caused pandemonium in the Otoko community in the Obowo Local Government Area of the state, led to the setting ablaze of the police divisional headquarters in the area by riotous youths.
The state Commissioner of Police, Rabiu Ladodo, who spoke to our correspondent in a telephone conversation on Tuesday, said the killer cop abandoned his rifle and ran away.
The CP, however, said that the command had declared the killer cop wanted for his unprofessional conduct.
Ladodo stated, “I am at the scene of the incident as I speak to you. The killer police officer has abandoned his rifle and ran away. We have recovered the rifle. But let me assure the good people of Imo State that no matter how far he runs, we will find him.
“I want to commend the leaders of the community for helping us to restore normalcy in the area. The youth have stopped rioting and the whole place is 100 per cent peaceful now.”
The CP added that he was working hard to make sure that the rifles, which were allegedly taken away by the rioting youths, were recovered.
Ladodo said he had mandated the homicide session of the State Criminal Investigation Department to take over the case.
A police source told our correspondent that the command had started recovering some of the firearms, which the youth allegedly took away.
Meanwhile, the Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha, has asked Ladodo to immediately apprehend the fleeing inspector, who allegedly murdered Ukachi.
The governor, who gave the charge when he visited the family of the slain man in Otoko on Tuesday, said that those who were paid to protect human lives should be careful.
Ihedioha, who was accompanied on the visit by his Deputy, Gerald Irona; his Chief of Staff, Chris Okewulonu; and the CP, said, “The officer that provoked this action must be found and brought to justice immediately; under no circumstance should a police officer, who is supposed to protect the people and maintain the peace, go to the extent of killing a citizen meant to be protected.
“Adequate steps must be taken to forestall this kind of action. We should be cautious because human lives can’t be duplicated. It is the responsibility of anyone that carries arms officially to protect lives and properties.”
Addressing members of the community, the governor said, “You have a duty to make available those persons that burnt the police station and made away with guns. It is a crime to steal guns and anybody doing it under the guise of retaliation is a criminal and must face the full wrath of the law.”
Ihedioha assured the bereaved family that the state government would stand by them in their grief.