The Abia police command on Wednesday threatened that those behind the killing of its operative in Aba on Saturday would not escape justice.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr Ene Okon, said this in Aba while reacting to the alleged killing of a policeman in the commercial town.
Okon said that anybody involved in the killing of the operative would surely be made to face the full weight of the law.
He alleged that those who were behind the dastardly act also forcefully took away two AK 47 rifles with forty rounds of ammunition, belonging to victims (operatives).
He spoke against the backdrop of the crisis that broke out in a section of the city, including Ngwa Road, Anaba, Degema, Oke-Jumbo and Umuosi Streets at Indiegoro along with Uzomkpa Road in Owerri-Aba, where a policeman was allegedly killed by unidentified residents.
It was learned that trouble started on Friday when some policemen came to the area to allegedly extort money from some alleged drug dealers and cult suspects.
“The crisis started when some policemen, who come to the area daily to collect money illegally from residents, including traders and drug barons, were challenged by some youths,” a resident said on the condition of anonymity.
The account further said that one of the youths was shot in the melee that ensued, a development that reportedly angered the people and escalated the trouble.
It was also gathered that the people subsequently mobbed the policemen, killed one and also took their rifles.
“It was after the incident that some policemen regrouped and returned to the area to attack the residents, burning the houses of innocent people, who did not know the genesis of the crises,” another resident said.
Also, Mr Nnamdi Nkwachuckwu said that he and his family narrowly escaped being trapped in the fire, after their house was allegedly torched.
Mr Godwin Ozor alleged that the policemen that attacked their area between Friday and Tuesday came in five Hilux Vans and a Siena car from Ndiegoro Police Station.
However, the police boss distanced the command from the alleged mayhem, saying that the police had no hand in the alleged destruction of houses and sacking of residents.
He rather accused the residents of whipping up sentiments to cover up their crime by alleging that police burnt down their houses.
“That community should bury their heads in shame. They should be ashamed. They are harbouring criminals and now turn to accuse police of coming to collect money in the area.
“Even if police came there to collect money does that warrant killing them? The group that did this where are they from?
“Is it not from the same community? The people burnt the buildings to cover their tracks,” the police chief said.
Meanwhile, the area has been deserted as residents fled their homes to escape being killed or arrested by the police.