Abia vigilante shoots man dead after he was accused of stealing a 'Nokia Torch' phone

Over a missing phone, an official of the Abia State Vigilantee Service (VGN), aka Bakassi, fatally shot a 27-year-old staff member of De Choice Eatery in Umuahia, Abia State.

Izuchukwu Mbakwe, the dead, died after being shot at close range by the vigilante guard.

On Sunday, March 26, 2023, the incident occurred in front of the café in Okpara Square, next to a new-generation bank.

Mbakwe, a resident of Umuosu Okaiuga Nkwoegwu in Umuahia North Local Government, just returned to Nigeria from Dubai and landed a job at DE Choice fast food.

Mbakwe was allegedly owed five months' salary by the management of DE CHOICE fast food before his untimely death on March 26.

How it all started

An eyewitness who pleaded anonymity said, troubled started when a company-owned Nokia Torch phone went missing at the restaurant.

Izuchukwu who was the suspect, had arrived at work when the Internal Auditor summoned Vigilante Security Guards and demanded his arrest over the disappearance of the phone.

The guards allegedly stripped Izuchukwu Mbakwe accusing him of being responsible for the missing phone and beat him.

One of the guards then shot Izuchukwu in his leg causing injury to his femoral artery. The gunshots terrified other customers in the restaurant who took to their heels.

On realizing his action, the vigilante man reportedly removed his service uniform and tried to use it to stop the sea of blood that was gushing out of the victim’s body.

The victim was rushed to FMC Umuahia for treatment but he died having lost so much blood.

Speaking to Newsmen at NUJ Press Centre in Umuahia on Monday March 27, the spokesperson of the Abia State Vigilante Service, Mr. Ben Uche, said the shooting was not a deliberate action but an accidental discharge from the personnel's gun.

According to him the security staff did not intend to kill the victim but was on a peace restoration mission when the accidental discharge happened.

"The late Izuchukwu had a disagreement with the manager of The Choice over alleged indebtedness to the victim by the manager."

He stated that the late Izuchukwu allegedly seized a phone belonging to the manager, insisting that he must be settled before he could release the phone which sparked a shouting match between the two men.

He further explained that the Abia State security outfit’s official in trying to stop the two men from fighting mistakenly torched the trigger of his service gun which hit the victim in the lower leg region and not his lap or abdomen.

Uche, who said the matter has been reported to the police, explained that his office is already investigating the incident even as the suspect has been arrested.

He commiserated with the family of the victim, noting that Abia State Vigilante Service was known for the security of lives and property in the state and not violence.
Happening in Umuahia:

With this deployment irate youth stun De Choice Fast Food on Monday 27 started destroying properties

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