Unknown gunmen yesterday shot to death a paramount ruler, Igwe Emmanuel Mba, in Oruku community in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State.
Reports from the area said that the alleged assassines invaded the community and moved to where the royal father was presiding over a meeting.
The royal father was said to have been shot dead by the armed men who claimed to be policemen from Force Headquarters, Abuja.
The ‘policemen’ led by one Inspector Danladi, also took away one Mr. Agozie Ani from the Oruku Townhall where the deceased traditional ruler was addressing a meeting of the natives.
The armed men, who invaded the venue of the meeting in an SUV and a Sienna Bus at about 2 pm on Boxing Day, according to an eyewitness, moved into the hall and sought to see the royal father.
The armed men were reportedly escorted to the Townhall by three natives of the Oruku identified as Emmanuel Nwobodo, Onyema Edeh and Sunday Onunze. They came and left with the same vehicles that brought the armed men, the eyewitness said.
When the traditional ruler who was presiding over the meeting was identified by the three natives, one of the ‘policemen’ immediately shot him on the thigh and he fell down bleeding.
Confusion reigned supreme after the royal father was shot as the natives scattered in different directions amidst sporadic shooting by the armed men, who made attempts to arrest some of them.
The bleeding royal father was taken away by the armed men to the Parklane hospital Enugu but Igwe Mba could not be admitted due to lack of bed space.
They were referred to the National Orthopedic hospital, Enugu but on arrival doctors at the Emergency Unit only confirmed the royal father dead.
It was learnt that the royal father who was elected by his community on December 26, 2019 reportedly bled to death before he could get medical attention.
The traditional ruler’s corpse was deposited at the National Orthopedic hospital mortuary while the whereabouts of Ani is yet to be known.
The FORD Pick-up van driven to the aborted meeting by the deceased royal father also driven away by the team was yet to be found as at the time of going to press.
Checks by some leaders of the community at the state police command headquarters to ascertain the identity and motive of the “invading policemen” proved abortive as they were told that there was no such entry made at any police station to that effect.
As a result of the incident, the aggrieved members of Oruku community reportedly regrouped Saturday evening and attacked the homes of some indigenes believed to be behind the murder of the royal father.
Four houses including the compound of the father of a retired federal Permanent Secretary, Chief Raymond Okenwa were reportedly burnt down.
Some vehicles parked within the affected premises were also set ablaze by the mob.
Efforts to get official reaction of the State Police Command proved abortive as the State Police Public Relations Officer, Daniel Ndukwe, did not pick his call.