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Gunmen kill Bakassi traditional ruler in Calabar

Gunmen kill Bakassi traditional ruler in Calabar

The traditional ruler of Efut Esighi Isu Ekom in Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State, Effiong Odionka, was last Thursday shot dead by gunmen at his residence in Calabar.

Speaking on the development on Tuesday, the late ruler’s wife, Mrs. Sarah Okon-Effiong, said her husband left the village last Thursday to Calabar, only to be killed that same day in his house at the Bayside axis of Calabar-South by men suspected to be hired assassins.

She said, “I was in the village that day but at about 11.30pm, my son called to inform me that my husband has been killed. The killers, who were about six, came with his photograph, traced him to his bedroom where they tied him to a cushion chair, shot at him and axed his head afterwards.

“Before they killed him, they put a call through to someone, who probably sent them, to confirm whether my husband was actually the one they went for and the person answered in the affirmative after which they slaughtered him.”

Okon-Effiong hung the blame of her husband’s death on some family members whom she said had alleged that he alongside some elders were responsible for the death of one of their relatives, Benjamin Etim, through witchcraft.

Before her husband’s death, she said one Madam Ikwo, aged 79, was already kidnapped same day and her whereabouts was still unknown, adding that those who were accusing other elders of the family of masterminding Etim’s death were using Bakassi militants to terrorise the people.

Corroborating her mother’s statement, the second son of the deceased, Odionka Okon-Effiong, said the dismembered body of his father was deposited that night at the mortuary of the General Hospital, Calabar by the Police team from Atakpa Division who arrived the scene of the crime after the killers had escaped.

It was gathered that the remains of the traditional ruler has since been buried in line with the tradition of the Efut people, which does not allow a dead body of departed traditional leaders to lay unburied for more than 72 hours.

Spokesperson of the Cross River State Police Command, Mr. Hogan Bassey, confirmed the death of the traditional ruler.

He, however, added that the matter was still under investigations.

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