Gunmen suspected to be hired assassins on Friday night invaded Nkerefi community in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State, killing the traditional ruler of Isienu Amofu, Igwe Peter Onuoha.gunmen

Also gunned down were a native identified as Daniel Ogbu alias Chocho and two others identified as a couple, Ejike Udeme Uzor and his wife, Evelyn Udeme Uzor.

Igwe Onuoha, the Eze Na Chi 1, was the Managing Director of Posdonal Nigeria Limited and Secretary of Nkanu East Traditional Rulers Council.

Apart from bullet wounds, the deceased persons had several machete cuts on their bodies.

Some other natives who were reportedly wounded by the gunmen are said to be receiving treatment at the Catholic Church-owned, Annunciation Specialists Hospital, Emene, Enugu.

It was gathered that the residents of the community were thrown into confusion when the noise of the sporadic shooting by the gunmen rented the air.

Those residing near the palace of the royal father were said to have fled their homes on hearing the sound of the guns but some unlucky ones were hit by the flying bullets.

At the end of the shooting, the fleeing natives returned only to discover that their traditional ruler, Igwe Onuoha, and one Chocho had been shot dead. The personal assistant to the royal father, identified as Vincent, was reportedly shot while fleeing the palace but he survived the attack.

Within the neighborhood, it was further gathered, a man and his wife said to be a nurse, were also found dead as a result of gunshot wounds they sustained.

The reason for the attack could not be immediately ascertained but sources said the royal father and some youths in the community had disagreed over a suspicious spiritual sacrifice he allegedly made in the community sometime last year.

Said the source: “Last year, Igwe and youths in the village had problem when they (youths) accused the monarch of retarding the progress of the community through fetish practices but the Igwe had reportedly told them that the sacrifice he did was purely for his protection and that of his family members and not on behalf of the entire community.

“Angered by the development, the youths were said to have forcefully uprooted the royal father’s signboard to express their disloyalty but the community leaders condemned the act and threatened to fish out and discipline the youths involved. Some of the culprits ran out of the community since then but it is not clear for now if the exiled youths are responsible for this bloodbath.”

The Enugu state police spokesman, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, confirmed the incident.

He said the corpse of the royal father had been deposited at the Eastern Nigeria Medical Centre, Enugu, while three other corpses were deposited at Agbani Health Centre in Nkanu West Local Government Area.

The police spokesman said operatives of the state police command “are already on the matter to unravel the circumstances surrounding their deaths but from available information there seems to be an internal wrangling among the people of the community.”

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