Political killings in Imo?



THE hitherto trio of Placid Nzejiobi Ejimadu, Livinus Iwumne and Jonathan Ibemere were last week Sunday seen bubbling in good health, discharging all their duties, including attending church services in their ancestral villages in Umuokpo, Abajah, Nwangele Local Councils of Imo State.

They were also united with their families with usual fanfare of Sunday activities at their various homes. They were also said to have worked assiduously to deliver on the return of the Imo State House of Assembly member–elect in the Nwangele constituency, Ugonna Ozuruigbo (a.k.a OZB) under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), during the general elections. They were also reported to have assisted in re-electing the Imo State governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha.

Unfortunately, no inkling of suspicion came to them and their family members that they were going to breathe their last on Sunday. But it happened when gunmen from different directions were said to have arrived their various homes emptying their bullets on them, leading to their instant deaths.

According to Calista, the wife of one of the deceased, the late Ejimadu, her late husband and his cousin, the late Iwumne, were sitting in front her shop around 7.30 p.m. when a black Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) arrived at their sitting spot, beaming its headlamp fully and focused at them. Immediately, an unknown man stepped out of it, brought out a gun, shooting at them until they breathed their last.

She said: “This was done mindlessly about 7.30 p.m. when they never expected such to occur. They were silenced just like that. I was also there and witnessed how the assailant shot everywhere in the shop and sporadically, too. After that he entered the vehicle and left before the villagers could see him. Then the bodies were there in the pool of their own blood.”

Also, the late Ejimadu’s daughter, Peace, recounted how his late father had called her on phone earlier, stating that he was going to tell her something, regretting that she only had a phone call on a restricted number screen, stating that her father was dead. She said it was when she got home that she truly confirmed that her dad was dead. Initially, she called a sibling of hers who refuted the story.

In a related manner, the late Ibemere’s wife, Bernadette, said she and her husband had heard the sound of gunshots around their vicinity, leading to her and her late husband running into their home, then he ran into the shop only to find the two corpses. As he attempted to touch the corpses, the assassins arrived, killing him too.

The widow recounted that her husband was a driver who struggled to make ends meet and feed the family, adding that he worked for Ozuruigbo.

The widows regretted that the demise of their breadwinners had left them to suffer to feed the numerous children left behind.

Speaking, on the issue, the Imo State Police Commissioner, Mr. Austin Evbakhavbokun, said that he and his men were working had to trap the killers. He maintained that they were not in any position to say if they were APC members or not, since the police was apolitical.

In another development, abductors of the Imo State Bureau Chief of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Miss Chidi Opara, have freed her, the Imo State Commissioner of Police (CP), Austin Evbakhavbokun, disclosed on Friday.

Briefing journalists around 2:00 pm at the headquarters of the state Police Command, the CP stated that he was not aware of any payment made before she was let go by the captors, adding that the Command had applied all that was required to ensure that the lady was set free unhurt, noting that his men had begun a manhunt for the hoodlums.

The abductors were said to have abducted Opara at the entrance of her home in MCC Road, Uratta, Owerri North Local Council of Imo State about 9;00.p.m last Wednesday. They also snatched her Lexus SUV and took her to an unknown destination. Later, they demanded a ransom of about N8m, reducing it to N1 million.
She was spotted on Friday afternoon at the police headquarters in Owerri, apparently to write some statement on her ordeal.

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