“He mistakenly hit the lead of his grenade which was hanging on his waist with his elbow, resulting in the deadly explosion.”
The police in Ebonyi State said the man killed in a Tuesday explosion in Afikpo was a police operative, and not a suicide bomber as reported in the media.
The police spokesperson in the state, Loveth Odah, said the victim of the blast was a mobile police officer on special deployment to Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
She said the officer, identified as Idi Aminu, died as a result of an accidental explosion from a hand grenade.
The incident, which occurred opposite Amizi Amangbala Primary School in Afikpo North, had created panic among residents.
“He mistakenly hit the lead of his grenade which was hanging on his waist with his elbow, resulting in the deadly explosion,” Ms Odah said.
The spokesperson said the remains of the police operative have been taken to a mortuary.
Some residents in Afikpo had told reporters that the incident happened around 12 noon when the man tried to gain access into a school.
“He made an attempt at entering Amaizu/ Amangballa Primary School but was turned back by the school security since he couldn’t justify his reason for visiting. He immediately started running inside a nearby bush before a big bang was heard,” a resident said earlier.
The upper part of the man’s body was completely destroyed form the impact of the bomb.
Attacks against police facilities and buildings belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission have continued in Ebonyi and other states in Nigeria’s South-east.