Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
There has been tension in Onitsha, Anambra State, following the alleged gruesome murder of Onitsha South Local Government Area tricycle revenue collector, Mr. Ikechukwu Ani.
It was alleged that Ani was ambushed on his way from his residence in Asaba, Delta State , to Onitsha where he does his tricycle business and murdered by suspected members of a rival tricycle group.
The tension is believed to be borne out of the fear of a reprisal attack from the deceased’s group which might be regrouping to retaliate the killing of their leader.
A member of the keke operators in Onitsha, Mr. Ebuka Nwafor said, “We heard he was coming to work from his home in Asaba, when some armed men operating in four tricycles, ambushed him at the Asaba end of the Bridge Head, stabbed and shot him severally.
“Since the knife and bullets could not penetrate his body, his assailants, on the order of their leader, abducted and took him to Oko, a suburb of Asaba, and continued stabbing him as directed by a native doctor; then he died.
“When they picked up his body hoping to throw it into the River Niger, a local vigilance group in the area, on a tip-off, invited the police and confronted them; they arrested four people while the rest of the gang escaped.
“The deceased who hailed from Enugu State was given the contract for revenue collection in Onitsha South by the Anambra State Government, a development which did not go down well with leaders of the rival group who were unhappy that he was plying his trade in Anambra instead of doing so in his home state.
“The group which was unhappy with him had warned him that it would kill him if he continued to do the revenue- collection contract.”
“Before Ani’s murder, the alleged group had a pending murder case; the body of the deceased is still in a morgue while the suspected victims’ killers are on the run,” Nwafor stated.
When contacted over the murder, the Fegge Divisional Police Officer, Mr. Rabiu Garba, a Chief Superintendent of Police, said that the incident was not reported to his office since it happened in Asaba, which is under a different command.
However, a senior police officer serving in Asaba said: “I’m aware of the murder case; we have arrested some suspects who are helping us in our investigation.”