22 March 2019

Nigeria: Gunmen Kill Lecturer in Enugu After Farmers, Herders Peace Meeting

Enugu — Gunmen suspected to be herdsmen on Wednesday night killed a university lecturer and administrative secretary of Uzo-Uwani local government area of Enugu State, Dr. Nnamdi Ogueche. Ogueche's death came less than 24 hours after a Catholic priest, Rev Fr. Clement Ugwu, who was earlier kidnapped and killed, was buried.

Ogueche, a senior lecturer at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, was shot dead while returning from a peace meeting between his kinsmen and Fulani herdsmen in Enugu. He met his death along Iwolo road in Ezeagu local government area.

The meeting, said to have been summoned by the governor's Special Adviser on Security Matters, Brig. Gen. Fred Eze (rtd), was to find solutions to the raging disagreement between Adaba and Lokpa communities in Uzouwani and the herdsmen. Farm crops belonging to the communities were incessantly attacked by the herders.

The assailants were said to have pursued the council scribe and shot him alongside three other occupants of the vehicle he was driving. Meanwhile, the whereabouts of other occupants of the vehicle Ogueche was driving could not be established as at the time of this report.

When contacted, chairman of Uzo-Uwani local government area, Mr. Fidelis Ani, confirmed the killing, adding that the immediate cause has not been ascertained. He said a case had been lodged at Ezeagu police division for investigations, just as fear and heightened tension engulfed the council area yesterday.

The Commissioner of Police, Sulieman Balarabe, who briefed reporters yesterday at the police headquarters confirmed the latest killing, assuring that the command would do its best to bring the perpetrators to justice. He said there was an ambush against the deceased, confirming that three persons have been arrested in connection with the murder.

The police boss, however, declined to confirm the involvement of herdsmen until after investigations. The commissioner paraded 11 suspected criminals arrested for various crimes, among them five Fulani herdsmen that specialized in kidnapping in the state.

Among the arrested persons were killers of a contractor, who rehabilitated the Miliken hills road in Enugu recently. The contractor was waylaid alongside his wife at Ukana and taken to the Miliken hill axis, where the assailants killed him in front of his wife.

Meanwhile, an angry mob yesterday lynched a suspected ritualist at Akenfa, a suburb of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital. He was caught while trying to cut the body of a young lady he was accused of killing by the mob.

It was gathered that the young lady simply identified as Best, an indigene of Epie, was hit and killed by the suspect. The community has come under attack by ritualists who kill women and harvest their vital body parts.

Sources said the suspect threatened to attack the mob with an axe when he was caught but that he was later overpowered and burnt to death. It was gathered that the man pretended to be mad during the day but turned to a killer at night.

Confirming the incident, the Bayelsa State police spokesman, Asinim Butswat, said both the suspected ritualist and murdered woman were known to be mentally sick.

This is coming just as the police in Bayelsa are launching a manhunt for the killers of two National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members in the state.

Suspected cultists on Wednesday night attacked the residence of corps members along School Road in Yenagoa, killing two and injuring another critically.

In a statement yesterday, Butswat reiterated the commitment of the police to fighting crime and all forms of criminality in the state. He said: "On March 20, at about 10:00p.m., armed robbers numbering seven, attacked the residence of one Jerry Yeseme Moses, proprietor of a school at Swalli, Yenagoa.

"The armed robbers instantly shot and killed one corps member, Oluwatobi Popoola, male, aged 30; they also shot one George Onokpoma, male and Anthony Dada. The victims were rushed to the Federal Medical Center, Yenagoa, where George Onokpoma was confirmed dead, while Anthony Dada is responding to treatment. The command has launched a manhunt for the unknown gunmen, and investigation is ongoing."

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