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Slain Rivers Painter: Police Arrest PoS Operator, Begins Probe

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There are indications that the Police have arrested one suspect, identified as Uche, a Point of Sale (PoS) terminal operator who invited members of a local vigilante group that assaulted a 22-year-old painter and allegedly shot him to death in Umuebele, Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State last Saturday.

Also, the police said it has launched an investigation to unravel the cause of the incident and take appropriate actions afterwards.

It would be recalled that the deceased, Chinemerem Orji had gone to the PoS centre to withdraw money sent to him by a friend and had successfully collected the money but noticed that one of the notes was a counter.

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Elder sister of the deceased, Kelechi who narrated the incident to Orient Weekend said, “He went to the PoS to withdraw the money. After withdrawing the money, he found out that one of the notes was a counter.

“So, he went back there and asked the guy to change it, but the guy refused. As they were arguing he, (the PoS operator) called OSPAC. They came and tried to drag my brother to their bike (motorcycle).

“My brother said he was not following them to their office because he didn’t commit any crime. That he was just asking the guy to change the money for him. The other members came and dragged him. In the process, one of them brought out dagger and cut his hands and body.

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“Before you know, one of them (vigilante) that was on his bike came down and shot him on the back,” the grieving sister narrated tearfully.

On what they were told at the SCID, Miss Orji said “I, my mum and my uncle went to the State Criminal and Investigation Department today (Tuesday). We met one of the high ranking officers there. “My uncle spoke with him and he said they just brought the case to him this morning. That they (police) have not looked into it. That my uncle should choose a date that we can come back.

“My uncle said he was travelling to the village but he would come back on Monday. The man said by then he would have looked into the case and take it up from there,” she added.

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 Asked if he saw the PoS operator at the SCID, she said, “Yes, I saw him myself there. He came out of the bathroom. Maybe he went to bath or so. I saw him through the window.”

When contacted, spokesman of state Police Command, Nnamdi Omonin confirmed the incident, saying, “It happened in Umuebele, Etche LGA. I have asked the family to come and see me tomorrow. The matter has been transferred to the SCID and we are investigating it,”Omoni added.

Dennis Essang, Port Harcourt

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