Anambra State Police Command has debunked the allegation that some members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, were shot dead last week in Awka during their protest march for the release of the Director, Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
Briefing some journalists at the Police Headquarters in Awka yesterday, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Ali Okechukwu, DSP, stated that no member of the group was detained or shot by the police.
According to a statement made available to Nigerian Pilot and signed by the PPRO, “It was evident that on Tuesday, October 20, some misguided youths took to the Onitsha/Enugu Expressway, harassing people and blocking the highway, causing heavy traffic jam and the attendant hardship to innocent and unsuspecting citizens and commuters.
“After receiving calls from well-meaning people on the ugly development, the police command, oblivious of what and who were behind the sudden convergence of the crowd on the high way, dispatched policemen to the scene. The police presence and their professional handling of the crowd dispersed them and eased traffic. Only few of them were arrested, cautioned and released immediately.”
Okechukwu, however, expressed surprise over a recent newspaper publication (name withheld) of October 21 which reported that four MASSOB protesters were shot in Anambra by the police.
He said the reporter of the story did not contact the commissioner of police or himself for clarification or otherwise, at least to ensure a balanced reportage.
“The Anambra State Police Command is by this medium refuting, rebutting and explicitly denying any incident of shooting in connection with the protest of October 20 in Awka.
“This publication is to say the least an attempt to malign the police command and punctuate the serene and peaceful atmosphere in the state. The command is asking the reporter to immediately retract the report or come up with real evidence of those who were shot, the hospital they are being kept or any other verifiable evidence of the shooting.
“It is the command’s position that journalists should painstakingly verify their reports before publication in order not to mislead the populace or create undue tension and panic where none exists,” the PPRO stated.

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