An officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has been reportedly shot dead while many others seriously injured in a violent clash between a group of mobile police and the corps in Owerri, Imo State.
It was learnt that men of the Squadron 18 Mobile Police in Owerri on Monday around 12 noon allegedly attacked the Imo State NSCDC Command on Okigwe Road on hearing that a senior police officer, a Superintendent of Police (SP), were detained by the civil defense corps.
It was further learnt that the police men went beserk when the NSCDC officers allegedly refused to allow their colleague go with them after they had demanded for his release.
The police men allegedly beat up the NSCDC officers on duty, including the NSCDC State Commandant, M. O. Ogar, who had attempted to address them.
The irate police men were also said to have striped the commandant, attacked and destroyed facilities at the NSCDC’s office.
Stripping the commandant was said to have led to a commotion and exchange of gun shots by the police and the NSCDC men.
An unidentified NSCDC officer was reportedly killed during the incident.
An eye witness account revealed that residents and passers-by ran helter skelter to avoid being hit by stray bullets.
The eye witness, who preferred anonymity, said: “The situation became charged when the police forcefully released their colleague in NSCDC custody. The Mobile Police also whisked away the already humiliated Commandant to their office.
One of the policemen at the scene reportedly said: “NSCDC men arrested a Superintendent of Police because he joined their convoy and they beat him up knowing fully well he is a senior police officer for that matter.
“We were asked to go and release him. On getting there, the NSCDC opened fire on us and we gave it back to them, fire-for-fire. The NSCDC Commandant has been arrested and will be detained in the 18MPF cell.
Meanwhile, the spokesman for the Imo State Police Command, Michael Mbatam, was yet to officially respond to the incident.