Tragedy struck Naza community situated in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo state after Emezim Duru, a retired police officer, shot dead a yet-to-be-identified man at a festival.
The incident was said to have occurred during the annual Ito-Ofe festival in the community on Friday.
It was learnt that the festival was organised to confer a chieftaincy title on a Meshack Onyeagoro, a US-based police officer, who is an indigene of the community.
Duru was said to have been shooting continuously in celebration of Onyeagoro’s chieftaincy conferment when bullets reportedly hit two guests at Obibi junction in Naza.
One person was said to have died on the spot while another person was reportedly rushed to the hospital, thereby bringing the festivity to an abrupt end.
“A retired police officer has just killed one person at the ongoing Ito Ofe annual festival in Naza. The other person who was hit by the bullet has been rushed to the hospital. The retired police officer was shooting in jubilation.
“The festival was mapped out to confer a chieftaincy title on Meshach Onyeagoro, a United States of America-based police officer. He is from our community. He returned from the USA to receive the chieftaincy title.
“Onyeagoro bought eight cows for the eight villages in our community in appreciation for the reputable chieftaincy title. The retired officer was shooting in the air, celebrating the chieftaincy title before the tragedy struck,” a member of the community narrated to the Punch.
Orlando Ikeokwu, the Imo State Police Command spokesperson, confirmed the arrest of a suspect. He, however, did not confirm if the arrested person was Duru.
The police spokesperson also disclosed that the gun used has also been recovered, adding that Onyeagoro gave Duru the weapon to use.
“Two persons were hit by the bullet. One person died on the spot while the other person has been rushed to the hospital. It was Onyeagoro, who gave the retired police officer to shoot in jubilation.
“The gun has been recovered and one person has been arrested. We have restored normalcy in the area. It is a tragedy and we have commenced an investigation immediately,” Ikeokwu said.