Police in Ebonyi State have confirmed the killing of two persons (couple) and the missing of five others from Ekoli Edda in Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, following an attack on the people of the area by hoodlums suspected to be working for the people of Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State.
This was contained in a press statement signed and issued to Journalists on Thursday by the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Loveth Odah, in which she disclosed that the attack took place on June 30, 2020, at Erei Palm Plantation located at the boundary between the two LGAs.
The people of Ekoli Edda in Afikpo South L.G.A of Ebonyi State and Biase L.G.A of Cross River State, had been engaged in dispute for years over the Palm Plantation at the boundary, as both lay claim to the plantation.
The dispute has led to the death of many and properties worth millions of naira, destroyed.
She gave the names of the couple slaughtered at the palm plantation as: Mr. Ndukwe Okoroafor and his wife, Mrs Paulina Ndukwe, aged 55yrs and 49yrs respectively.
According to DSP Odah, those still missing, are: Esther Ikwo (female) Elizabeth Ikwo (female), Chinechere Nnachi (female),Ogbonna Aku (female) and Sunday Ogbuu Ama (male).
“The victims were said to have been taken to unknown destination together with the corpse of Mr. and Mrs. Ndukwe Okoroafor”, DSP Odah added.
She said the Command condemned the attack, adding that a combined team of Police and Army had been dispatched to the area to rescue those abducted unhurt, and arrest the perpetrators.
The Command enjoined the people of Ekoli Edda to remain calm and not take laws into their hands, but assist police with credible information to arrest the perpetrators.
“on 30/06/2020 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 One Ndukwe Okoroafor ‘m’ aged about 55yrs and his mother one Paulina Ndukwe ‘f’ aged about 49yrs been slaughtered by the attackers, that the gunmen also abducted five (5) others which includes;- Esther Ikwo ‘f’, Elizabeth Ikwo ‘f’, One Chinechere Nnachi ‘f’, One Ogbonna Aku ‘f’ and One Sunday Ogbuu Ama ‘m’.
“The victims were said to have been taken to unknown destination together with the corpse of Mr. and Mrs. Ndukwe Okoroafor.
“The Commissioner of Police while condemning such hideous and barbaric act 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.
“Furthermore, the CP has 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.
“Meanwhile, preliminary investigation revealed that the attack is as result of resurgence of the longstanding communal feud between the people of Ekoli Edda in Afikpo South L.G.A of Ebonyi State and Biase L.G.A of Cross River State over the Palm Plantation.
“To this end, the good people of Ebonyi State have been enjoined to remain law abiding and assist the Police with credible information that will lead to the arrest of the culprits by reporting to the nearest police station or call the command’s emergency hotlines on; 07064515001 and 07034232125”, the statement read.