From Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
At least nine persons were arrested for allegedly torturing one John Omale to death and causing the destruction of property worth millions of naira at Egagbenebe in Ofu Local government area of Kogi state.
Monday March 9 , 2020 is indeed a day that the people of Egagbenebe a suburb community in Ofabo district in Ofu Local Government Area of the state would not forget in a hurry.
It was a day gunmen numbering over 20 as early as 4.30 am when people were still fast enjoying their night sleep, were woken up by sporadic gunshots, oozing out from all the entry points of the town.
The villagers including women, elderly and children have to scamper to safety into the bush with various degree of wounds, while the youths who muster courage to face the invaders were overpowered.
The invaders who allegedly came from a nearby village of Ofabo went straight to the house of the vigilante commander of the Area Mr. Onojah Frank burning down his house and those of his two officers whose Houses were equally set ablaze before moving from shop to shops looting whatever is found in the shops including cartons of beers which they took their time to consume.
By the time the operation subsided , it was discovered that property worth millions of naira have been destroyed while many who have escaped into the bush recorded broken limbs and various degrees of wounds.
The troubles according to an eye witness was said to have been ignited on Friday March 6, 2020, when an Ibo man who deals in provision store in Ofabo reported the case of theft of his Two hundred thousand naira only ( 200,000,00) to the Ofabo vigilante office alleging one John Omala to be the culprit.
The Authority gathered that on receipt of the report, the vigilante swung into action and arrested the suspect
who was said to have been badly hit during interrogation.
It was learnt that the ofabo vigilantes on sensing the deteriorating condition of the suspect took him to the house of their commander Onojah Frank at Egagbenebe a stone throw to Ofabo and about few kilometers from Aloma in Ofu Local government area.
It was gathered that before arriving at the destination, the suspect was already in coma but was rushed to an unnamed health facility at Aloma where he was satisfied dead.
According to the locals, when the news filtered into his village of Ofabo that the suspect has been killed by the vigilante at Egagbenebe , the youths of Ofabo then mobilised themselves, armed to the teeth and invaded Egagbenebe in an early morning raid that led to the burning down of the houses of the commander and his officers leaving the town with sordid tales of devastation.
Confirming the incident , the Public Relations Officer of the Kogi state Command of the Nigeria Police, Deputy Superintendent of police DSP William Aya said nine persons have been arrested in connection with the incident.
Aya said one Mr. John Omale suspected to have stolen some money from an Ibo man at Ofabo died as a result of torture while some houses and shops at Agagbenebe were burnt.
He added that the command has commenced full investigation to unravel the true position of the incident , assuring that any one found wanting would be brought to face the full weight of the law.