Officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have allegedly shot two youths in Bakassi community, Bakassi local government area of Cross River State.
DAILY POST gathered that one of the victims was reported dead on the spot, while the other who was injured critically, is receiving treatment at an undisclosed health facility in the State.
An eyewitness, who declined giving his name, said that the incident occurred in Ekpri Ikang, Bakassi, on Friday.
“The altercation began when officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (Yet to be identified) serving at the Bakassi division raided black market petrol (Premium Motor Spirit, PMS) dealers and seized their gallons.
“The angered black marketers gave the NSCDC jeep carrying their gallons a hot chase. Attempting to scare away the pursuing black marketers, a trigger-happy NSCDC officer fired some shots and the stray bullet caught two youths.
“One of the victims is Effiong Ezekiel, a staff of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) who was on duty. The other is a black marketer who was among those who gave the officers hot chase,” he alleged.
It was also gathered that the angry Bakassi youths protested the incident at the NSCDC divisional office and burnt a Toyota Hilux jeep.
From Bakassi, the protesters headed to Calabar, the State capital which is 40 minutes drive from the LGA, with the dead body.
Our reporter gathered that the angry Bakassi youths moved along Eta Agbor in Calabar Municipality to UNICAL main gate where they were stopped by a combined security team.
When newsmen contacted the State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Danjuma Elisha, he said that he got the information and that he was still interviewing his men about what happened.
“You know, in issues like this you don’t jump into conclusion, we have checked their riffles, their armour and they’re still intact.
“I learned they went to our office, burnt down the Hilux vehicle that was there and even burnt down the office. That was what I heard, though I’m not sure of it because they’re yet to send me pictures.
“They attempted holding two of our men hostage but the military were able to intervene and the other two yet to be rescued have gotten in touch,” he stated.
But when DAILY POST contacted the PHED Corporate Communication Manager, John Onyi via phone on Friday night, he said the company had conducted an in-house census and observed that nobody was missing.
However, the Special Adviser to the Governor Ben Ayade on Security, South South, Mr Ani Esin, confirmed the alleged shooting.
“I wouldn’t know what happened in Bakassi. The matter is being investigated and within a shorted possible time, the truth shall be unravelled. It was alleged that Civil Defence shot the victims in Bakassi
“The community and youths in the area brought the corps to Calabar in anger and protested which almost turned out to be a serious riot and we stepped in to control the situation.
“We calmed them down and advised that the corpse of the disease be deposited at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital mortuary. The bullet got two boys and one died on the spot while the other sustained serious injury and was obtaining treatment,” he said.