Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Iyatsere of Warri and leader of Itsekiri in Ologbo community in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State, Chief Johnson Atseleghe, has been arrested over the missing of one Sunny Etchie.
Etchie was reportedly taken away by boys alleged to be associated with Atseleghe but has not been seen since then.
Edo State Commissioner of Police Johnson Kokumo, who confirmed the arrest on Monday, said: ‘I can confirm to you that one Mr Johnson Atseleghe is in our custody who is being investigated over allegation over an incident that somebody is missing and the persons who were last seen with the missing man were linked to him.’
Etchie, said to be the youth leader of Kolo-Kolo community, was reportedly picked by some persons allegedly associated with Atseleghe over three weeks ago and he is suspected to have been killed.
It was learnt that the police had cordoned off the area where the missing Etchie is believed to have been last seen and a few minutes later, Chief Atseleghe was said to have reported himself to the state police command and he was taken to the anti-kidnapping unit of the command for interrogation.
The Benin Solidarity Movement (BSM) recently raised alarm over alleged killings, kidnappings and disappearances of people in Kolo-kolo village.
The president of the group, Comrade Curtis Ugbo, who led a protest to the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone 5, in Benin City, also called on the police to hold the leader of Itsekiri people in Ologbo, Chief Atseleghe, responsible for the happenings in the area, accusing him of complicity in the incidences.
‘We are here to register our protest on the incessant kidnaps and killings of our people in Kolo-Kolo village in Ologbo, Edo State. For the past three months, three prominent indigenes of Benin have been brutally killed and kidnapped by hoodlums in Ologbo village.
‘Just three days ago, our brother and son, Mr Sunny Etchie, was kidnapped on his way to Kolo-Kolo village in Ologbo. Earlier before now, Mr Okuoemose Omorodion was killed by this same gang on the 4th of May. Till this moment, the whereabouts of Sunny Etchie is not known. We members of the Benin Solidarity Movement are calling on relevant security authorities to fish out the perpetrators of the heinous crime and bring them to book,’ Ugbo had said.
Responding to the protest, Mr Emmanuel Effiom, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in Zone 5, said that the police had taken note of their grievances but urged the protesters to present their protest as a written petition for the police to properly act on it.