A middle aged-man identified as Edward has been allegedly killed by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Garkem, Bekwara local government area of Cross River State.
The killing occurred when the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prof. Anthony Eneji allegedly brought some SARS operatives in a van to arrest some revenue collectors who were said to have opposed his taking over of the revenue collection point in the area.
The youths in the area had resisted the arrest and blocked the area, stopping the SARS operatives from leaving with any of them, a situation that angered the SARS operatives and they reportedly shot into the air with stray bullet, hitting Edward who died instantly.
As soon as the news of Edward’s death filtered in, the youths went berserk, pulling down buildings and targeting the Commissioner’s house, but the quick intervention of the Police saved his house from being razed down.
When DAILY POST contacted the commissioner, he initially denied that there was a problem in Garkim, his hometown, but when he was told about the death of Edward, he said the police was involved.
He later admitted that there was crisis but said, “we are still investigating it.”
He further disclosed, “I think we shouldn’t listen to absolute falsehood. It’s a problem we are all trying to solve.”
Eneji, who became evasive during the phone conversation refused to tell his side of the story, only insisting that as commissioner, he was not expected to mobilize the police to kill anybody.
But a youth leader in Garkem, who pleaded not to be named, said the commissioner was fighting with some youths in the area over the control of cocoa produce revenue point, which sparked off the crisis.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ms. Irene Ugbo, confirmed the killing of Edward as a result of the SARS intervention, but said the youths attacked the SARS team which forced them to shoot into the air.
“Unfortunately, a bullet hit one of the revenue collectors and he died,” she said.
At the time of filing this report, houses have been burnt and many people have relocated to Ogoja and Obudu to avoid the anger of youths who have since the incident occurred gone wild.