…Kill two soldiers, civilian at checkpoint in Ebonyi
…Storm Ebonyi community, rob filling station, businesses
By Peter Okutu & Chinonso Alozie
Palpable fear has once again, gripped indigenes of Ebonyi State following attack by gunmen in various facilities in the state.
In separate operations, the gunmen razed a section of the Federal High Court in Abakaliki in the early hours of Tuesday, just as two soldiers and a civilian were shot and killed at a checkpoint in the state.
Another set of gunmen also operated at Onueke Community of Ezza South Local Government area of Ebonyi State, shot sporadically and robbed their victims of their possessions.
The razing of the Federal High Court in Abakaliki was allegedly carried out by hoodlums but fire fighters intervened to bring the inferno under control. The attack at the checkpoint which occurred on Monday night revealed that the gunmen shot the two soldiers and a civilian at a checkpoint on Timber Junction area, in the Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Those injured as a result of the incident were rushed to an undisclosed hospital for treatment while the deceased were deposited at the morgue. Vanguard gathered that the victims were attacked at about 8.48pm and their riffles were reportedly carted away.
Other soldiers at the checkpoint ran inside the bush for safety. A community source, who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity said the gunmen arrived the checkpoint in a white bus and as the military men stopped them for a search, they opened fire on them.
According to him, the situation threw the two busy towns of Amasiri and Afikpo into panic, as natives especially petty traders hurriedly packed their goods and went home. “It appeared the military were checking them and all of a sudden, they opened fire on them. Two of the military men, a man and woman, died. Others ran away.”
In a similar vein, the gunmen that operated at Onueke Community of Ezza South Local Government area of Ebonyi State shot sporadically into the air near the bank and made customers and staff to scamper in various directions for safety.
A source, who was at the bank, said the gunmen shot the man they trailed to the bank. The source noted that they did not enter the bank as their interest seemed to be on the man.
However, the gunmen were said to have moved from the bank to some outfits in the area which they robbed without any obstruction. They were said to have entered a provision store and carted away some cartons of drinks. From there, they moved to a nearby drinks shop and robbed the owners of their money. Not satisfied, they moved into a nearby filling station and also carted away all the monies made from the day’s sales.
Vanguard also gathered that one Mrs Ngbeke Oti, an eight months old pregnant Internally Displaced Person, IDP, in Effium community, Ohaukwu local government area has been abducted by unknown persons in the community.
The mother of four was allegedly seized by suspected warlords when she accompanied her friends from an IDP camp to harvest cassava in Ebeta village. The woman who hails from Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State, was living in Effium with her family before they were displaced by the crisis that erupted in the area in January, 2021.