Uncovered: The truth about how soldiers killed football star Izu Joseph •The shocking details
Posted by News Express | 22 October 2016 | 1,508 times
Fresh facts have emerged on how Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) ace defender, Izu Joseph, was killed. Following the controversial circumstances surrounding his sudden death, the General Secretary of the Nigeria Players Union, Austin Popo on October 21, in the company of the Bayelsa State executives of the Union, Comrades Meremu and Fubara visited the Okarki community, a boundary town between Rivers and Bayelsa states where soldiers were said to have shot and killed the footballer in his village.
“We arrived the town at 12.50 pm and were taken to the family,” Popo narrated in a statement issued on Friday.
Continuing, he said: “We met the immediate elder brother of late Izu Joseph, Ruben Izu who told us their father had left for Port Harcourt. In response to our request to get the family’s version of events that led to Joseph’s death, he gave the phone number of the immediate younger brother of the late player, Izu Ruben Izu, who was appointed as the family spokesperson. The brother through a telephone chat narrated what happened on Sunday 16th October, 2016, which was later affirmed by an eye witness, Mr. Rener Maxwell who was at the scene of the incident.
"The narrative was that Izu Joseph had gone to Okarki to see family members including his wife Paultier and daughter Stephane at the close of the NPFL 2015/2016 season.
He was said to have gone to the village river on Sunday, 16th October, 2016 to swim.
“He was in the river swimming when he heard gun shots. He became curious and noticed that everyone was running. He came out of the river, dressed up and started running for safety like others. Then, one solders amongst several others, operating from a building that was said to beharbouring a criminal they were looking for shot him in the leg. While he was in pain, he tried to explain to the soldiers that he was not one of the persons .they claimed they were looking for; that he was a player with 3SC. Then, the second soldier shot him in the rib. But having realised their error they tried to cover up the crime by throwing the late Izu Joseph into the river after collecting his ID card, wallet, ATM card and his phone.
"The footballer was said to have managed to hold on, until he got help from villagers who took him to the hospital where he was eventually confirmed dead by the doctor.
“The same village the army claimed was in deep crises, for which they went for confidence building is as peaceful as you can imagine except that they are mourning the tragic event that befell someone they claim was very supportive of the youths.”
•Photo showscomrades Austin Popo and Meremu Okara with some other NANPF National and State officials and Judge Ruben Izu, the immediate elder brother of late Izu Joseph, at the father’s house in Okarki. Also in the photo is Mr Rener Maxwell, the man that witnessed Izu’s murder from a distance.