Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Police and locals have differed on the number of death in Sunday’s attack on Itakpa Community in Obi Local Government area of Benue State.
While the locals have alleged that 13 persons were killed in the attack, the Commissioner of Police in Benue who visited the scene for an on the spot assessment on Monday said only three corpses were recovered in the area.
Daily Sun gathered that one of the victims was the ward chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in th the area identified as Augustine Abbey and two women.
According to a native in the area, the gunmen numbering eight had reportedly invaded the community with AK47 in four Bajah-branded motorcycles around 9.00pm on Sunday and began to shoot sporadically in all directions.
“Among the 13 bodies found were two women in their 30s. The gunmen did not only kill people, they also broke into ranches belonging to two prominent sons of Obi and carted away all the cattle in the ranches,” the native who spoke on the condition of anonymity disclosed.
When contacted on telephone, the first class Chief in Igede land, His Royal Highness, Oga Ero (CP retd) confirmed the incident to newsmen saying the gunmen had earlier in May this year, attacked Echori Community and killed two people.
“They shot and killed 13 people at Itakpa community many people were wounded and currently receiving treatment at General hospital, Obarike Ito, Obi Local government area.
The traditional ruler who strongly condemned the attack on his subjects however applauded the state government for promptly responding to their cries by deploying more security to the troubled community.
But Police in the state while confirming the attack however disclosed that two corpses and not 13 were recovered from the area.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Catherine Anene disclosed that the police Commissioner had visited the scene of the attack and found only two corpses.
“When we got there, only two corpses were found by somebody’s farm. We searched the whole area and found nothing again.
“So, the Commissioner of Police went back to the community and asked where were the people they claimed had been killed?
“The villagers said that in their culture, they don’t show corpses to the police. So, we cannot confirm what we did not see,” Anene said.