By Oginyi Ruth
An altercation involving some personnel of the Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) has reportedly led to the death of the Secretary to the Ebonyi State Elders Council, Chief Geoffrey Mgbada.
The incident which reportedly took place along Ezza road, Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital on Tuesday was as a result of a disagreement between the deceased and VIO personnel who were mounting a check-point.
It was learnt that Chief Mgbaga, also a senior lawyer and member of the State Capital Territory Development Board, was said to have been pushed against a pavement and collapsed resulting in the deceased’s death.
Sources said the VIO officers had stopped the deceased who was in company of his wife when one of the VIO officials reportedly pushed him and the deceased hit his head on a concrete pavement and lost consciousness in the process.
Two of the five-man VIO officials had immediately rushed the deceased to the Alex- Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital where doctors confirmed him death.
Chief Mgbada, Pioneer PDP Secretary in Ebonyi State, was driving to his farm in the morning when the incident occurred.
It was gathered that the inspection officers were on their routine vehicle checks when the incident occurred.
In an interview with Chijioke Mgbada, the son of the deceased who frowned at the sudden death of his father, he pleaded to the government to intervene and ensure that the killers of his father are charged for murder and punished accordingly.
He called on the state government to abolish VIO in the state stressing that they have coursed so much pain, lost of live in the state noting that series of accidents have been coursed by them in the state.
” Please it hurts me to see my father this way, my dad left this morning with my mother to bank and I was with my siblings preparing to go back to school before my mum rushed home and was shouting chijioke chijioke your father is hospitalised, the VIO people pushed your father, and they have used our car to rush him to the hospital and on reaching here I saw my father lifeless.
“I asked of the VIO members, I was told that the police has arrested them I don’t know how many of them but I want the government to help us bring justice to my father. I am a law student, infact I don’t know where to start. “
Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Odah Loveth said Four out of the five vio officers on duty have been arrested and they all maintained that they didn’t push them but that the man slumped contrary to the statement of his wife who said the boys pushed him down .
She said police is on top of the situation and appeal to the public especially his family to calm down as the perpetrators would be brought to book.
She said one of the officers is on the run but he will be arrested that whoever that is involved in the matter directly or indirectly will be arrested.
Meanwhile, Governor David Umahi has called for investigations, prosecution of VIO Officers who allegedly kill the man who was a PDP stakeholder before his death.
Umahi in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Sir Emmanuel Uzor described the death of the elder statesman as callous and ordered full investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death in the hands of thugs who paraded themselves as Vehicle Inspection Officers.
The statement read “the Governor on hearing about the death of Chief Mgbada expressed great sadness and ordered the Commissioner of Police to arrest and prosecute the suspects who paraded themselves as VIO Officers. Let it be known that the Governor in a town-hall meeting with Ebonyians proscribed all task-force agents working under any guise using the state government as cover”
“In the proscription order, the Governor also dissolved all revenue and tax agents in the state at all levels with a promise to convoke another town hall meeting where a new tax and other revenue will be deliberated and agreed upon and the Governor is yet to convene this meeting before this ugly incident “.
“The Governor is saddened by this careless death and wishes to dissociate the state government from the illegal activities of the VIO and other task force agents in the state and directs for immediate arrest and prosecution of such illegal tax or revenue agents.”
The body of the deceased has been deposited at mortuary at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.