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Residents demand justice over incessant killings in Kogi, Enugu

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Residents of Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State have called on the governor, Yahaya Bello, and security agencies to unravel those behind the incessant killings across Omala by unknown gunmen, with the latest, a 50-year-old woman, Mrs. Mary Jekeli Edibo, last week.

They noted that in recent times, some villages in Omala have become the epicenter for senseless killings by bandits. They particularly asked the governor to stand up to his responsibility by protecting lives and property of citizens across the state.

Edibo, who hailed from Agbenema-Ife, a suburb of Abejukolo, headquarters of Omala local government area, was macheted to death by her assailants while returning home from neighbouring Agabifo village. It was gathered that the deceased, a petty trader, who was said to have returned from a local market earlier in the day, went to see her customers in the neighbouring village and was returning when she met her death.

The incident came barely four days after a middle-aged man was similarly murdered in a nearby community. The victim, Malam Amodu Oma Ucha of Ajodoma village, was macheted on his way to the farm.

Confirming the incidents to newsmen yesterday, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP William Aya, said on April 10, the deceased brother, Mr. Abdul of Agbenema community reported the matter a day after the incident at Abejukolo divisional police headquarters of Omala LGA.

He said when the police team went to the scene of the incident, they discovered that she sustained deep cuts on her head and part of the face. “Our men took the photograph of the scene and were to retrieve the body for a post-mortem examination but the family declined,” he explained.

He, however, said the police have commenced investigation into the matter and have mounted intensive surveillance around the communities.

Meanwhile, the police in Enugu State yesterday said it had launched a manhunt for persons that allegedly murdered a 55-year-old man, Joseph Ogbonna, at his residence in Igboeze south local council of Enugu State. The Police Public Relations Officer in Enugu, Daniel Ndukwe, said the incident took place at Amafor Ovoko in Igboeze LGA on Saturday night.

The Guardian learnt that Ogbonna was murdered in his sleep by unknown assailants in his compound. Ogbonna’s head was reportedly smashed with a brick. His next-door neighbour, Silas Ugwuoke, discovered that he had been killed when he went to meet him over an important matter on Sunday morning and raised an alarm, which attracted other neighbours.

His lifeless body was discovered in a pool of his own blood on the floor. Residents told reporters that they suspected that the deceased must have been killed over a disputed piece of land. They said that the deceased had a dispute with a suspect now at large over a piece of land, saying that his death may be linked to the issue.

One Onyekachi Eze, who expressed surprise that people could go to the extent of killing fellow humans in a bid to vent their anger over disputes or rivalries, said that it was sacrilegious to murder someone in his sleep.

Meanwhile, police detectives from Ibagwa, the headquarters of the Igboeze South LGA have arrested a suspect in connection with the murder. A police officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity confirmed that homicide detectives have arrested the suspected killer of the deceased.

But PPRO, Daniel Ndukwe, who spoke on the matter, said: “Joseph Ogbonna was murdered in his home at Ovoko, Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area of Enugu State by an unknown assailant. Our men have launched a manhunt for the perpetrator(s) and we are working assiduously to bring whoever has a hand in the dastardly act to book.”


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