A middle aged man, Eseni Egwu, was on Monday killed at the Ekoli Edda community,in the Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
The incident it was gathered occurred when members of the Ebebeagu Security Outfit clashed with youths in the area on Boxing Day.
The Ebebeagu operatives, according to a community source, allegedly arrived the market square in the area in company of the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Stanley Okoro-Emegha, patrolled and shot sporadically into the air and left.
The development, the source further noted, attracted youths of the community, who in consonance with some elders announced that natives should go into their homes for safety.
Egwu’s eventual death and Onu Eku’s ordeal, it was further learnt, ensued when the security operatives allegedly regrouped and stationed at Ogwuma, a hamlet close to Ekoli Edda Community in the council area and engaged hoodlums of the community in a gun duel. The incident occurred at 6pm, on Monday.
This was as the hoodlums, few hours after the incident, burnt the country home of the APC chairman in the state, Okoro-Emegha, at Ekoli Edda Community, in the Afikpo Council Area, same Monday, at 10.18pm.
Investigations revealed that Okoro-Emegha, had on Sunday, kicked against the election of a youth group in the community that saw the emergency of persons loyal to the immediate past chairman of the Afikpo South LGA, Eni Chima, as principal officers.
The APC boss, according to the source, had allegedly expressed displeasure over the election and reportedly drew the attention of the new council area chairman, Chima Ekumankama, who allegedly cancelled the election and called for the group’s disbandment.
Calls and messages made and sent to the Ebonyi State Police Command were neither picked nor responded to, as of the time of filing this report, even though it was gathered that its rank and files and military men had taken over the community to halt further breakdown of law and order.
But confirming the incident, the APC chairman, Okoro-Emegha, said he was attacked by thugs loyal to a politician in the area, saying his house had equally been burnt by the miscreants.
He said, “Yes. It’s true. They attacked me tonight at Ekoli Edda community, and the same people, some of whom I know, I have just heard, burnt my house.
“These are Eni’s boys; they attacked me and they are the people that burnt my house. I call on the police and other security agencies to swing into action. They know what to do to unravel the truth of the matter. They know what to do.”
Narrating his ordeal, the elder brother of the dead victim, Mission Egwu, lamented that his sibling’s killing was senseless and premeditated, adding that the community had been lockdown as a consequence of the crisis in the area.
He said, “What happened in Ekoli Edda today is an unfortunate and senseless killing. It is unfortunate in the sense that the life of a vibrant young man in active community service has been cut short. It is senseless that there was no provocation for his killing.
“Chief Stanley Okoro-Emegha, who usually comes to Ekoli with truckloads of security personnel comprising of policemen, National Security and Civil Defense Corps members, soldiers and Ebubeagu guards came back to Ekoli today the 26th day of December, 2022 and started patrolling the community with his Ebubeagu guards shooting sporadically at the Ekenta Market Square Ekoli Edda. This was bad for a community with incessant threats of IPOB attack and communal crisis with most Cross-River communities of Erei in Biase Local Government Area.
“The alarming situation warranted the youths of Ekoli Edda to rush out as everyone else ran for their dear lives. When the community youths started sounding traditional alarm as warning to villagers of the dangers, they ran away to Amangwu Edda from where they later regrouped with reinforcement at Ogwuma Edda and then came back shooting more heavily making villagers scamper for safety and in the process shot and killed my younger brother, Mr. Eseni Kalu Egwu.
“Onu Eku of Ekoli Edda, who was equally shot by them is lying in critical condition in a hospital. As at this night, the shootings by Okoro-Emegha’s security guards are still being heard as the village is under complete lockdown.
“I now understand that what happened today is an agreed conspiracy between Okoro-Emegha and few of his friends, who are now on the run from Ekoli. I’m afraid to start moving to Abakaliki this night to make statement to the police as the community is still under siege by Ebubeagu operatives. I shall make an official statement to the police by morning.”