Angry truck drivers and youths on Sunday, shut down the Asaba-Onitsha expressway following the death of one of their members, killed in an accident while escaping from suspected revenue collectors at the Bridge Head.
The deceased identified as 25-year-old Micheal Chimezie Okorie, a driver of an articulated truck was reportedly being pursued by the tax collectors stationed at Head bridge Onitsha when he suddenly lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a concrete barricade.
Speaking to newsmen at the scene, the deceased's brother, Maduabuchi Okoye, who was with him at the time of the incident, said after they paid N3500 to the collectors and collected receipt, the group still pursued them. In the process of running away from the men his brother hit a pole by the roadside and the wood they were carrying fell on them.
The deceased was rushed to Toronto Hospital by the police where he was confirmed dead on arrival by a medical doctor.
The incident caused heavy traffic gridlock in the area as hundreds of aggrieved drivers blocked the highway with bonfires.
Spokesperson of the State Police Command, SP Haruna Mohammed, who confirmed the incident in a statement on Sunday, December 6, said the Commissioner of Police, John Abang has ordered for a full scale investigation into the matter.
"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 'm’ aged 25years of Oduma in Aninri LGA of Enugu State," the statement says.
"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."