Tragedy struck on Thursday evening along Owerri – Onitsha in Eziama Obiato Community in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State, as one of the bullets fired by some jubilating soldiers at the army checkpoint at Ukwu Orji hit a woman in the community.
The 46 year-old mother of four and native of Umuagha village in Eziama Obiato Community, identified as Chikodi Ofoegbu, was said to be working in her farm when the bullet hit her.
The incident, our correspondent learned, has caused panic as youths were reportedly gearing for protest.
According to eyewitnesses, the officers were jubilating over the safe return of one of their colleagues, who was thought to have been dead following the Easter Monday’s attack on the army checkoint by unknown gunmen.
“The reappearance of the missing officer led to jubilation amongst the soldiers who started shooting sporadically, thanking God for the safe return of the soldier.
“Unfortunately, one of the bullets touched and killed the woman in her farm nearby. The woman was subsequently rushed to the general hospital, where she was confirmed dead”, the source said.
The president general of the community, Goodluck Ebereowo, who confirmed the incident, said he had directed the head of security in the community to investigate the incident and get back to him for further action by the community.
The Interim management chairman of Mbaitoli Local Government Area, John Eke, said he was awaiting official complaint from the Community.
The Public Relations Officer of the 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze Owerri, Captain Babatunde Zubairu, did not respond to calls and message sent to his phone number.