One of the soldiers at the checkpoint at the Onitsha Bridgehead in Anambra State on Thursday shot dead a 27-year-old revenue collector.
The unidentified victim was killed when the soldier tried to shoot in the air to scare motorists from plying one way.
It was gathered that the situation led to panic on the River Niger Bridge as everyone scampered to safety thereby causing the bridge to remain calm temporarily as vehicles plying in and out of Onitsha remained stranded.
According to an eyewitness account, the soldiers were pursuing and smashing the mirrors of commercial drivers who were plying one-way on the bridge when the incident happened.
The eyewitness said, “As the soldiers were trying to stop the motorists from plying one-way. The drivers were also trying to dodge them and as one of the soldiers pulled his gun and shot in the air to scare the drivers, the bullet hit one of the revenue collectors standing on the road and killed him instantly.
“The killing of the youth made many traders and other passersby mobilise to attack the soldiers but they called for reinforcement from the barracks and they brought more soldiers and armoured personnel carrier to the scene.“The prompt intervention of a senior army officer and the Onitsha Police Area Commander saved the situation while the soldier was whisked away.”Security was later beefed up at the bridge as many security operatives cordoned off the area to avoid further breakdown of law and order.
Calls made to the police spokesman in the state, DSP Ikenga Tochukwu, to confirm the report were not answered and a text to his phone was not responded to as of the time of filing this report.