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Harvest of killings in Edo

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The late Afegbua

• Gunmen kill Edo council ex- chairman, others
Gunmen yesterday killed the former Chairman of Etsako East Local Council of Edo State, Suleiman Afegbua, along the busy Benin-Auchi-Okene highway while two other occupants in his car sustained injuries and are said to be responding to treatment in an undisclosed hospital.

The armed men were said to have stopped many of the motorists at the popular Ogbemudia Farm at Iguevbihobo village, where they searched all occupants of the vehicles after the victims were ordered to lay face down on the road.

It was gathered that Afegbua was shot when he attempted to escape from the scene of the attack and died on the spot. The late Afegbua was on his way to Benin City on the invitation by the state governor over opposition of some persons in his local council, who are said to be opposing the tak-eoff of a fertiliser plant in the council area.

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the state, Moses Nkombe, when contacted confirmed the incident. He said the victims were travelling in a convoy when the armed men ambushed them at the spot and shot at them in the process.

He added that men of the anti-robbery squad have been detailed to comb the bushes within the troubled area. “There was no indication of any abduction and no such indication that they are Fulani herdsmen.

“Police Tactical Team of the state command, anti-robbery squad are on top of the situation and have been deployed to comb the bushes around the area,” he said.

It would be recalled that unknown gunmen have in the last three days killed three persons in different parts of Benin City, including a pastor identified as Godwin Emmanuel, who was said to have been shot dead on Sunday and a businesswoman, Mrs. Oyo Omo-Osagie, whose shop is less than 200 metres from the state command of the Nigerian Police Force, who trailed to her house and shot dead on Saturday night.

Another yet to be identified man was also on Monday night chased from Ekenwan Road where he was said to have gone to buy food in company of his wife. He was shot in the neck and the gunmen, suspected to be armed robbers, snatched the car of the victim.

Pastor Emmanuel, who was also known as Prophet Speed, was shot dead on Sunday night along Oko Central Road, off Airport road, Benin, Edo State. He was said to have founded the church about 11 months ago.

Head of Media of the church, Festus Edema, said the pastor was on his way to distribute food items to church members, who were in need and dropped off one of them at Oko Central Road, when the gunmen shot him.

Edema explained that the assassins pretended to be pushing their car that broke down. “The man of God stopped for them to pass so that he could have his way. He never knew they had a mission to attack him. And before he could blink an eyelid, he was shot in the chest and stomach.

“Being the strong man, he still tried to put the car in reverse and as he was reversing, he hit the fence and they came to give him a close range shot that silenced him,” Edema explained.

When journalists visited the premises of the church, situated at No. 3, Ugiagbe Street, off Country Home, Motel Road, in Benin, members of the church were seen discussing the incident in clusters.

The state police commissioner, Haliru Gwandu, who lamented the increase in cases of assassination in the state, said men of his command were not relenting in their desire to rid the state of criminals. He confirmed that two persons had been arrested in relation to the killing of Mrs. Omo-Osagie.

When journalists visited the home of Omo-Osagie, there was visible bloodstain and shattered window glass of the deceased’s car littering the ground.



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