By Chris Oji Enugu
The traditional ruler of Oruku community in Nkanu East local government area of Enugu State, Igwe Emmanuel Chidiebere Mba, has been shot dead by armed men who claimed to be policemen from Force Headquarters, Abuja.
The ‘policemen’ led by one Inspector Danladi, also took away one Mr. Agozie Ani from the Oruku Townhall where the deceased traditional ruler was addressing a meeting of the natives.
The armed men, who invaded the venue of the meeting in an SUV and a Sienna Bus at about 2 pm on Boxing Day, according to an eyewitness, moved into the hall and sought to see the royal father.
The armed men were reportedly escorted to the Townhall by three natives and left with the same vehicles that brought the armed men, the eyewitness said.
When the traditional ruler who was presiding over the meeting was identified by the three natives, one of the ‘policemen’ immediately shot him on the thigh and he fell down bleeding.
It was learnt that pandemonium ensued after the royal father was shot as the natives scattered in different directions amidst sporadic shooting by the armed men, who made attempts to arrest some of them.
The bleeding royal father and Mr. Ani were taken away by the armed men to the Parklane hospital Enugu but Igwe Mba could not be admitted due to lack of bed space.
They were referred to the National Orthopedic hospital, Enugu but on arrival doctors at the Emergency Unit only confirmed the royal father dead.
It was learnt that the royal father who was elected by his community on December 26, 2019 reportedly bled to death before he could get medical attention.
His corpse was deposited at the National Orthopaedic hospital mortuary while the whereabouts of Ani is yet to be known.
The FORD Pick-up van driven to the aborted meeting by the deceased royal father also driven away by the team is yet to be found.
Checks by some leaders of the community at the state police command headquarters to ascertain the identity and motive of the “invading policemen” proved abortive as they were told that there was no such entry made at any police station to that effect.
As a result of the incident, the aggrieved members of Oruku community reportedly regrouped Saturday evening and attacked the homes of some indigenes believed to be behind the murder of the traditional ruler.
Four houses including the compound of the father of a retired Federal Permanent Secretary, Chief Raymond Okenwa were reportedly burnt down.
Some vehicles parked within the affected premises were also set ablaze by the mob.
Enugu state police spokesman, Daniel Ndukwe, said “the situation in Oruku community has been brought under control and the CP has directed a full-scale investigation to unravel the cause of the incidence, arrest and prosecute anyone found wanting.
He further calls on people of the Community to remain calm and eschew acts capable of further breaching the peace in the area, as anyone caught will be made to face the full weight of the law.