The traditional ruler of the Oruku community in the Nkanu East local government area of Enugu state, Igwe Emmanuel Mba, was reportedly shot to death by men suspected of being policemen at the force’s headquarters, Abuja.
Subsequently, many houses, cars and other properties have been razed in the community, an orgy of violence that began on Saturday and continued on Sunday.
Fracas began on Saturday, December 26, when the now deceased traditional ruler presided over the town meeting and a group of uniformed men believed to be Abuja policemen stormed the meeting, a native of the community led, who allegedly pointed to the traditional ruler which was instantly shot by the cops.
Enugu State Police Public Relations Officer Daniel Ndukwe was unable to pick up his phone to confirm the incident.
“The policemen were led by a Danladi inspector, who also took a Mr. Agozie Ani from the Oruku town hall where the deceased traditional ruler was addressing a gathering of natives.
“The gunmen invaded the meeting place in a Sienna van and bus around 2 pm on St. Stephen’s Day, moved into the hallway and sought to see the royal father.
“When the traditional ruler who presided over the meeting was identified by the three indigenous people, one of the policemen immediately shot him in the thigh and he fell bleeding,” said a witness.
The pandemonium was said to have occurred after the royal father was shot, as the natives dispersed in different directions amid sporadic fire from the gunmen, who tried to arrest some of them.
“The bleeding royal father and Mr. Ani were taken by the gunmen to Parklane Hospital, Enugu, but Igwe Mba could not be admitted due to lack of space in the bed.
“They were referred to the National Orthopedic Hospital, Enugu, but upon arrival the doctors from the Emergency Unit only confirmed the death of the royal father,” said Ejike Ani.
Unsurprisingly, aggrieved members of the Oruku community were said to have regrouped at night and attacked the homes of some indigenous people believed to be behind the murder of the traditional ruler.
Four houses were reportedly burned, including the compound of the father of a retired federal permanent secretary, Chief Raymond Okenwa.