Unknown gunmen storm Benue community, kill one, police release suspect


The people of Odobe-Ugbugbu, a community in Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue State are apprehensive over the several attacks they have witnessed in recent times.

Odobe is located a few kilometres from Aho-Ogbo, a popular market not too far from Obollo-Eke and Eha-Amufu.

Recently, activities of Fulani marauders have been on the rise and in one month, no fewer than 5 persons have been kidnapped. While ransoms were paid in some cases, some were released without the payment of ransom.

Also recently, a member of the community was attacked between Obollo-Eke and Ukalegu, leaving the screen of his vehicle shattered while he escaped narrowly.

At Ankpa-Owukpa, about three women were said to have been raped by the marauders. A resident, Mr Okpe Joseph said that the three women who were on their way from the farm, were attacked by suspected herdsmen.

Okpe said, “they were raped and as I speak to you, one of them is still being treated in an undisclosed hospital.”

According to Okpe Augustine, a community leader, the situation in the entire Ugbugbu is becoming worrisome, even as information has it that most of the kidnappers operating within the Eha-Amufu axis have relocated to between Ankpa and Ubafu.

He said, “Right now, it’s difficult to sleep at night with both eyes closed. The situation is terrible. We are currently facing a very difficult situation here.”

Saga Gist also gathered that a few days ago, gunmen stormed Odobe in the evening, and shot to death a beer parlour operator, one Mr Sunday Ugwu, also known as Okputu. Sunday, who relocated from Abuja to his village to start up a trade in the beer business, was shot dead when the suspected gunmen allegedly missed their target.

Sunday and some other young men were in his shop when the attackers suddenly appeared and fired shots at them, leaving Sunday dead and many others injured.

Report later emerged that Sunday was not the target as it was a case of an assassination gone wrong. According to insinuations, the suspects missed their target and unfortunately shot Sunday.

When the police visited the community, a female suspect, Rose Uwakwe Okeh, who allegedly masterminded the attack, was arrested and taken to the Orokam divisional police station.

The DPO had called on the family to come down with a witness and convince the police that the lady in their custody was behind the attack.

It was gathered that when Sunday’s family members were planning to travel to Orokam, the police released the suspect on Thursday, and provided no explanation as to why the lady was released. According to the DPO, the lady is innocent.

The development has generated serious fear among community members who fear that the lady would still call on the attackers to invade the community for the second time.

When the Orokam Divisional Police Officers, DPO, Mr. Felix Nomiyugh was contacted, he declined comment on the matter and appealed that our correspondent gets through to the Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, S.P Catherine Anene, who said she would reach the DPO for details and revert.

As of the time of filing this report, Anene has not reverted as promised.

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