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Mutengene Mob Clashes with Police, Carpenter Shot. 

By Andrew Nsoseka

A carpenter was killed on the night of February 23 when a police criminal investigation went awry in Mutengene, Fako Division, Southwest Region.

Thirty-seven-year-old Crispo Akem Leko was shot as police tracked suspect bandits who, a week earlier, had robbed a couple in Buea.

Akem’s untimely death incensed the inhabitants of Mutengene who rose as a mob and clashed with the police. They burnt two cars and part of GBHS Mutengene.

According to reports, the spark came when a police pick-up zoomed into Quarter II B at the Pelux Relaxing Drinking Spot sending the frightened drinkers scampering away.

Eyewitness accounts hold that the police pick-up stopped at the drinking spot with two suspect criminals arrested earlier.

A group of boys who had also been drinking at the venue confirmed to The Post that the police arrived with two presumed criminals in handcuffs.

The appearance of the police and the suspects sent the drinkers scampering in different directions. The deceased, Akem, reportedly took to his heels and was followed by the police.

Eyewitnesses told The Post that Akem stopped running and tried to explain that he was not a wanted person. It was at that moment, according to an eyewitness, that a police officer asked his colleague in French, “Je tire?” and the colleague responded “tir” and a shot was fired into Crispo’s head through his ear at close range.

A source, Mathias Fuh Chazias alias FF Bookshop, said he heard the shot and cry.

The population mobilised and moved to block roads with stones, wooden tables and other objects they could lay hands on, in order to prevent the police from running away after killing one of theirs.

A car belonging to Les Brasseries du Cameroun and another said to be that of a police officer were burnt down by the mob. Some of the irate crowd moved to Government Bilingual School Mutengene where they set part of the school on fire.

As the situation escalated, reinforcement came from Buea and the troops had a confrontation with the population.

Inhabitants narrated how gunshots and teargas rented the night air.

Guilty or Innocent?

At the home of Crispo, The Post met a group of wailing women accompanied by young girls and a host of quarter boys all gathered in the deceased’s compound to console the family.

According to Manyi Leko Christine, elder sister to Crispo, her brother had finished from his wood workshop and decided to wait for a friend at a drinking spot so that they could pack in the chairs he had worked on.

At the drinking spot, a stone-throw away from his workshop, Crispo ordered for grilled fish as he waited for his friend. The Post learnt that Akem did not eat the fish as his life was rashly brought to an end.

Manyi Leko explained that when she and other family members heard the news that Crispo had been shot, they assumed that he might have been shot in the leg, but on reaching the scene, they discovered that he was shot in the head and he died minutes later before anything could be done. Some people said Akem was an innocent victim who could not hurt a fly.

Investigations have been opened into the case, with various units making their reports on what happened.

Another version of the incident, however, had it that a civilian who had accompanied the police to help identify the suspect robbers shot Akem.

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