Police officer kills football fan at tournament final in Ebonyi

Nigerian Police on patrol
Nigerian Police on patrol

A football fan identified as Obinna Igwe has been shot dead while two others sustained bullet wounds following a fracas involving some policemen and a football team at a match in Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that two police officers were also injured during the incident.

The football match which was between Ndufu Alike and Ndufu Echara Teams was the final of a Unity Cup competition organised by the chairman of Ikwo Local Government Area, John Nnabo, at Urban Secondary School, Ndufu Echara.

A witness said trouble started when the match referee issued a red card to an Ndufu Alike player, resulting in his team conceding a goal in the second half.

According to him, the development did not go down well with the dismissed player as he returned to the pitch and attacked the referee along with other players on the bench.

“As they attacked the referee, a police officer at the field started shooting into the air to disperse the crowd. The situation made the people to start running towards the gate of the school to leave the premises but another police officer opened fire on them and injured many who were later evacuated to hospital,” the source who pleaded anonymity said.

But Mr. Igwe was not lucky as he died before getting to hospital. Doctors at the Federal Teaching Hospital later confirmed him dead.

The witness alleged that the incident resulted in a rampage by some youth of Ikwo who almost attacked the police, but for the intervention of some public office holders in the area.

When contacted, the police spokesman, Loveth Odah, alleged that the fan was killed when the rampaging youth attempted to snatch a rifle from one of the policemen.

Mrs. Odah said normalcy had returned to the area as the commissioner of police in the state had deployed more officers to prevent further breakdown of law and order.

She said the officer involved in the shooting has been arrested and will under go orderly room trial according to the rules and regulations of the police.

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