On Thursday, Gunmen allegedly murdered five people in the Ilile community in Imo State’s Ohaji / Egbema Local Government Area.
The incident, which took place around 3 am, led the agrarian community into a pandemonium.
A resident speaking in anonymity , informed journalists that the victims included a retired police officer who was simply recognized as Mr. Ukpabi ; the community’s immediate former President-Peneral, Napoleon Amadi ; a community vigilante member, Uwagwu Eze, and two others.
The source said others had been hospitalized, who suffered bullet injuries.
Reporters learned that the gunmen invaded the homes of the victims and shot their targets before they fled.
The source said, “As we speak, five persons have been confirmed dead. Among the dead are a retired police officer, Mr Ukpabi; the immediate past President-General of our community, Napoleon Amadi; a member of the vigilante group in our community, Uwagwu Eze, and two others.
“Three persons died on the spot, while the two others died in hospitals. Others are lying critically injured in hospitals. The attackers invaded their victims’ homes around 3am and shot them. They killed the victims in their houses while they were asleep. It was indeed a tragedy.”
On what led to the killings, the source explained, “It was purely cultism. I don’t know the names of the warring cults, but the attacks were cult-related. This is indeed too much to bear. I can’t believe it.”
The State Police Public Relations Officer, Orlando Ikeokwu, said three people were murdered when they were contacted.
Ikeokwu said he was unable to confirm whether the killings were cult-related, but noted that Rabiu Ladodo, the State Police Commissioner, had ordered a thorough investigation into the matter in order to bring the killers to justice.
“I can confirm that three persons were killed. But I cannot confirm if the attacks were cult-related, because the assailants came and shot their targets. The CP has ordered a thorough investigation into the killings with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice,” the PPRO stated.
Journalists recall that for a while the community has been a battlefield for the confraternities of Dey Gbam and Iceland.