Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Police Command is investigating the killing of a 30-year-old man identified as Senitonkumo Otu by suspected cultists on Easter Day.
The gunmen allegedly shot and killed the deceased, popularly known as Murphy, off the Azikoro-Agbura road in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
According to investigations, the deceased, who hailed from Oweikorogha community in Southern Ijaw, may have been killed by the cultists, who invaded the area to look for a different target.
The suspected cultists were alleged to be on a mission, searching for their target whose nickname was given as ‘Peeroo’, before Murphy accidentally met them and was shot in the process.
The killing of Otu had triggered fears in the area and the residents of the neighbourhood called on the state government and security agencies to protect them against men of the underworld, who are now frequently invading the area.
Mr. Allen Ofoin, the landlord of the deceased whom he said was a suspended ceiling tile installer, expressed shock over the incident, noting for the two years the deceased had spent in his property, he was a law abiding and easy going tenant.
Two neighbours of the deceased, Pere Tuboebi and Father Dokpere, noted that the absence of power supply and police patrols might be factors that are responsible for the rising wave of criminal activities in the area.
A former councillor in Yenagoa Local Government Area, Amasa Pulovie, described the incident as unfortunate, calling for the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators.
Immediate elder brother to Murphy, Ifiemi Out, who wept uncontrollably, said the victim was the last in a family of nine children, comprising six men and three women.
As at the time of the visit to the area, the Investigative Police Officer and some policemen from Azikoro police station, family members and sympathizers were seen trying to remove the body of the deceased and deposit it at the mortuary.
The spokesman for the Bayelsa State Police Command, Mr. Asinim Butswat, who confirmed the incident, said he had been informed of the incident but awaiting details from the Divisional Police Officer, Azikoro Division.