Residents of Onitsha, Anambra State, were thrown into a state of panic on Thursday as a young man identified as Chimezie from Achina, Aguata Local Government Area of the state, was killed by a stray bullet in his residence during a clash between security operatives and youths in the state.
News About Nigeria gathered that the young man, who just completed his National Youths Service Corps, NYSC, was on the balcony of his house when the stray bullet from the men suspected to be operatives of the Anambra State Anti-Touts Agency killed him instantly.
The security operatives had opened fire hikes trying to disperse youths who had gathered to protest the never-ending arrests, intimidation and harassment of youths in the area.
According to reports, the security operatives claimed to be anti-tout squad agents of the state government, wearing different kinds of uniforms and acting as revenue agents at the same time.
A source who pleaded anonymity said the operatives were fond of extorting tricycle operators while claiming to be working for the state government.
According to him, they collect between N300 and N500 per trip in the name of collecting revenue for the state government.
He added that the aggrieved youths had marched from the Metallurgical Training Institute, located along the Onitsha-Owerri Road, to the Amanato area of the road towards the Upper Iweka flyover and also made bonfires on both lanes of the road, a situation that hampered the free flow of movement.
He noted that it was during the protest that the security operatives had opened fire, shooting sporadically to scare the protesters off and that a stray bullet had hit the deceased while he was standing on his balcony.
A senior police officer, who also spoke based on anonymity, confirmed the incident, stating that the corpse had been deposited at the morgue.
He added that the anti-tout squad members were not trained in handling arms and so shot unprofessionally, which resulted in the death of the victim.