From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
A Passer – by was on Thursday killed when he was hit by a stray bullet fired by the police who were trying to disperse protesting youths of Umuagwo community and students of the Imo University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences over alleged police harassment, extortion and brutality.
The protesting youths who blocked the ever-busy Owerri- Port Harcourt expressway, around the University demanded an end to police harassment and brutality in the area.
But not long the after protest commenced when are policemen mobilized to the scene and started shooting indiscriminately.
While the protesters scampered for safety, 26 year- old Izuchukwu Okorie, a passer-by who was not part of the protest was hit by a stray bullet on his chest .
He was rushed to a hospital where he was confirmed dead.
The immediate younger brother of the victim, Onyinyechi Okorie, who spoke to our correspondent in a telephone chat disclosed that his elder brother was not a student of the university.
He said that his elder brother came to visit him and was on his way out when he was hit by a stray bullet.
Onyinyechi, 23 said ” my name is Onyinyechi Okorie. The person killed was my immediate elder brother. He was not a student of the university and was not part of the protest. He was a tiler. I am businessman in the area.
However, the Registrar of the university, Prince Edward Njemanze, who spoke to our correspondent in a telephone conversation said that no student of the varsity was party of the protest.
He also said that the slain youth was not a student of the university.
The registrar said ” the man who was shot dead was not a student of our university. Also, no student of the university took part in the protest. Those involved are youths and residents of the area . The protesters are youths of the community of Umuagwo who have been protesting over alleged extortion ,harassment and brutality, but no students of the University took part in the protest “.