Imo traders threaten to shut down markets over killing of member by police

Traders in Imo State, under the auspices of the Imo State Amalgamated Markets and Traders Association (ISAMATA), have threatened to take the laws into its own hands if justice is not done on one of their members allegedly shot and killed by the police on Monday.

It was reported on several social media handles that a team of policemen who were enforcing an arrest at the popular timbre and allied market Naze allegedly shot dead a trader, Ebere Chibuike, who was said to have requested to know the offence of the suspect.

The President of ISAMATA, Emmanuel Ezeanochie who spoke to our reporter said the market association has severally been pushed to the wall by the activities of the policemen who, according to him, regularly visit the market to harass, molest and intimidate traders and arrest those who have committed nothing.

Ezeanochie who is also known as Chenko said the diseased trader was a member of the association and was popularly known in the market as Wazzi.

He said he could have mobilized his people for a protest against the police but decided not to toe the path of matching violence with violence especially now that the state is experience a security problem

The enraged President said the police cannot deny being responsible for the killing when, according to him, all the traders in the market know them (police) even by their names.

Hear him, “i don’t know what to tell them if they deny being responsible for the killing. Who doesn’t know them by their faces in the market? There is no week that passes without the police visiting the market and harassing and intimidating the traders. Denying responsibility of the killing will only make the situation worse because the incident took place on the open and it was obvious that one of the officers shot him dead.

“We are calling on the Imo state government and the state Commissioner of Police to immediately place sanction on the erring police officer lest, members of ISAMATA will take it upon themselves.

“The government should also consider the young family of the slain trader who are currently in agony and find a way to restore hope to them. Anything short of this will enrage the traders in the state.”

But the state police command in earlier reaction, through its Spokesman, Henry Okoye, denied its operatives being responsible for the killing.

Henry said, “Information we have gathered so far indicates it wasn’t the Police that shot the trader.

However, the DPO in charge of the area has since been mobilized to the scene for on-the-spot analysis and discreet investigation.”

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