Truck drivers and youths, on Sunday, blocked Asaba-Onitsha highway after revenue collectors allegedly chased a 25-year-old to his death.
In a bid to generate money, tax collectors stationed at Onitsha head bridge were said to pursued Micheal Chimezie Okorie, who was driving an articulated truck. The chase ended in the young man’s death, reports say.
Maduabuchi Okoye, the deceased brother, who was with him at the time of the incident, said after they paid N3,500 to the collectors and collected receipt, the group still pursued them.
In the process of running away from the men, he said his brother hit a pole by the roadside and the wood they were carrying fell on them.
Police then reportedly intervened and rushed Okorie to Toronto Hospital where he was confirmed dead.
The incident caused heavy traffic gridlock in the area as hundreds of aggrieved drivers blocked the highway with bonfires.
The police later issued statement on Sunday to confirm the incident and promised that the perpetrators would be arrested and prosecuted.
The statement was issued by state police pokesperson Haruna Mohammed. It reads:
“On 6/12/2020 at about 4:am,there was a report of fatal motor vehicle accident along Asaba/Onitsha Expressway by Coca-Cola market Onitsha involving a Mercedes Benz 911 Lorry with Registration No ACA -178-XA loaded with timber and driven by one Micheal Chimezie Okorie (male) aged 25years of Oduma in Aninri LGA of Enugu State.
“The accident occured when the truck driver who was allegedly being pursued by suspected ‘revenue collectors’ stationed at Head bridge Onitsha suddenly lost control and crashed into the concrete barricade near Coca-Cola Market.
“As a result, the driver of the lorry became unconscious and was rushed to Toronto Hospital by Police Patrol team attached to Okpoko Division where he was confirmed dead on arrival by a medical doctor on duty. Corpse photographed and deposited at same Hospital morgue for postmotem examination.
“However, following the incident,aggrieved youth in their hundreds went on rampage and blocked the highway, setting bonfires on the road, but were later persuaded to disperse through the joint efforts of the Police, Union leaders and State Government Officials.
“Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, CP John B. Abang, who is deeply saddened by the unfortunate incident has ordered for a full scale investigation into the matter. The CP further assures the public that perpetrators would be arrested and brought to book.”