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Street rage as VIO team kills Ebonyi chieftain

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FORMER member of the Abakaliki Capital Territory Development Board Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Chief Geoffrey Mgbada has been killed by members of the VIO in Abakaliki.

He died in the early hours of Tuesday in the hands of Vehicle Inspection Officers, VIO, who were on alleged illegal duty along Presco-Ezza Road, Abakaliki.

The deceased, who was said to be driving with his wife was intercepted by the VIO team during which argument ensued.

As tempers continued to rise, one of the VIO personnel pushed him and he hit his head on the concrete road as he fell, and died.

Two members of the team have been arrested alongside the leader of the illegal team.

The body of the deceased has been deposited at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.

Meanwhile the State governor, David Umahi, has condemned the killing of Chief Mgbada and called for thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death.

Governor Umahi, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, 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.

Part of 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 convene 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.”

He further commiserated with the family of the deceased and vowed to ensure that justice is done while urging the members of the public to resist illegal revenue agents as the only body legally permitted to collect revenue on behalf of the government is the newly inaugurated Board of Internal Revenue.

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