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Suspected C’River warlords murder husband & wife, abduct 5 others in Ebonyi

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Ruth Oginyi

Suspected warlords from Cross River State have allegedly murdered a 55-year-old man, Okoroafor Ndukwe and his wife, Pauline (49) and kidnap five persons at Ekoli Edda community in Afikpo South local government area of Ebonyi state.

The couple were reportedly killed at Erei palm plantation located at a disputed border area between Ekoli Edda, Ebonyi and Biase local government area of Cross River state.

According to reports from the area, remains of the murdered couple were taken away by the warlords. Whereabouts of five persons found by the warlords from the neighbouring Cross River state in the area around the disputed palm plantation fuelling crisis remain unkown. The victims includes Ms Esther Ikwo,  Ms Elizabeth Ikwo, Ms Chinechere Nnachi,  Ms Aku Ogbonna and Mr Sunday Ogbuu Ama.

Ebonyi state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Loveth Odah, who confirmed the killing of the couple and abduction of the five persons in Ekoli Edda, said preliminary investigation ordered by the commissioner of police revealed that the attack was as result of resurgence of the longstanding communal feud between the people of the two local governments.

Odah said: “On June 30, 2020 at about 4pm the DPO Afikpo South received a distress call that gunmen from Biase LGA of Cross River State attacked some persons at Erei Palm Plantation located at the boundary between Ekoli Edda in Afikpo South L.G.A of Ebonyi State and Biase LGA of Cross River State.

 “Following the report, the DPO quickly contacted the youth leader of Ekoli Edda who also informed him that an eye witness to the alleged attack One Kalu Ndukwe narrowly escaped with bullet wounds but saw his father, Okoroafor and his mother, Paulina being slaughtered by the attackers. And that the gunmen also abducted five (5) others. The victims were said to have been taken to unknown destination together with the corpse of Mr and Mrs Ndukwe.

According to Odah, the state police commissioner had dispatched a combine team of Policemen and soldiers to the area with a view to rescue the abducted persons unhurt and arrest the perpetrators of the heinous crime. “The CP has also enjoined residents of the area especially the youths, to maintain peace, avoid taking law into their hands or acting in ways that could jeopardize investigation into the matter. He has also made it clear that the Command under his watch will leave no stone unturned to bring the culprits of the heinous crime to book”, she said.

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