The Chigbu family of Umuocham, Ntu, Ngor Okpala, Imo State, has requested the Brigade Commander of the 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze, Owerri, to identify and bring to book the soldier who allegedly murdered their son, Noel Chigbu.
Soldiers reportedly shot and killed Noel, a businessman on May 30, 2021 for allegedly violating a checkpoint rule at the Amakohia flyover area in Owerri.
The killing of the 39-year-old man, whose wife is four months pregnant, has since generated public outcry.
In a petition addressed to the Brigade Commander, the first son and spokesman of the family, Tobechi Chigbu, called on the military authority to bring to book the soldiers, who allegedly murdered the businessman in his car.
The family insisted that their son was murdered by soldiers, noting that there were no bullet holes on his vehicle.
The petition reads in part, “A close examination of the deceased person’s vehicle in which he was assassinated reveals that there were no bullet holes on the driver’s seat or its headrest to suggest that he was shot from behind as may be deduced from the shattered back windshield.
“Rather we are inclined to believe that he was assassinated while his car was stationary from the open driver’s and/or front passenger’s door and his assailants later broke the back windshield to cover up their heinous crime.
“Our family believes that the Nigerian military is made up of very professional, gallant and devoted officers and men, who daily put their lives in harm’s way in order to protect our sovereignty and freedom. Unfortunately, a few criminal elements have infiltrated your ranks and must be rooted out as a patriotic duty.
“In view of the foregoing narrative, may I on behalf of the family respectfully request for the identification and prosecution of the team of soldiers referred to in this petition, who were ostensibly under your command and control as well as a detailed explanation of the incident leading to the extrajudicial killing of our beloved brother, husband and father.
“The family also respectfully demands your esteemed and invaluable cooperation toward ensuring that justice is served in this matter so that we may attain a reasonable closure of the cold-blooded murder of a law-abiding, constitution-protected, hardworking employer of labour and patriotic citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the person of Mr Noel Ezeribe Chigbu.”
The petition was copied to the Imo State Commissioner of Police; the Director, Department of State Services; the Brigade Commander, 82 Artillery Division, Enugu; Chief of Army Staff; Chief of Defence Staff; and the National Security Adviser, among others.