Tragedy struck along the Milikin Hill Road, Enugu when no less than seven passengers were burnt to death after operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps opened fire on a commercial bus.
According to reports, the armed civil defence officials had asked the driver of the commercial bus to stop immediately after he drove out of Enugu New Market, located a few kilometres from Milikin Hill, but he refused to, forcing the NSCDC officials to open fire on the vehicle.
Eyewitnesses say the the bus veered off the road and crashed into a valley where it burst into flames almost immediately burning the passengers to death.
Reports say the incident triggered a protests by angry youths and other sympathisers in the area who condemned the action by the NSCDC officials.
According to an eyewitness who refused to be named, the NSCDC officials opened fire on the commercial bus after the driver refused to give them bribe.
“The incident happened because the driver refused to give them a bribe when they stopped him. They went after him, shot at the vehicle and seven people lost their lives,” he said.
The incident was confirmed by Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Danmallam who revealed that a girl said to be the sole survivor of the incident has been taken to the hospital for treatment.
He said, “This type of thing should not be allowed; we have made arrests. Investigations have started and we are asking people who witnessed what happened to come forward to make statements.
“We assure you that nobody involved would be allowed to go scot-free. This is not the type of case that can be swept under the carpet.
“I learnt that they (NSCDC officials) were chasing the bus; but I don’t know for what offence.
“I want to assure the people that nobody is above the law. Whoever breaks the law of the land will face the consequence,” he added.