Activities were today grounded in Aba, Abia State, as protest erupted over the killing of a commercial motorcycle rider, Chimaobi Nwogu, by a yet to be identified soldier for refusing to part with N100 bribe at a military checkpoint.
Pointblanknews.com gathered that the late motorcycle rider had passed the military checkpoint located at Ohanze Community and refused to part with N100 to the soldiers. Motorcycle, bus and tricycle riders in Abia pay N100 and N200 levies to military, Customs and Police checkpoints. Trucks and other heavy duty vehicles pay N500 at each checkpoint manned by these security agents.
Unknown to the motorcycle rider, one of the soldiers was said to have boarded a motorcycle and trailed him to his village, Umuokereke Ngwa in Obingwa LGA, a distance of 3 kilometres and shot him dead.
Angered by the incident, the youths of the community took the corpse to the military checkpoint and set it ablaze on fire as some soldiers stood watching. A Mopol 55 Squadron van stationed at the Opobo Junction was also set ablaze. A Mobil police outpost was also set on fire, while policemen on duty were chased away.
At a military checkpoint on Opobo road , soldiers fired sporadic shots as motorists abandoned their vehicles and fled. Policemen later reinforced and fired tear gas to disperse the protesting youths who had erected barricade along major roads in the area while another group paraded the corpse. The police were later joined by a convoy of military men who arrested some of the protesting youths.
When the protest died down, the road were deserted as over 20 youths were said to have beaten up by the soldiers and are being at the military base at Ngwa High School, Aba.
Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, (APRO),14 Brigade, Ohafia, Major Aliu Kadiri, refused to take several calls and text message to his mobile number. But a military source in Aba said the Army is on top of the situation.