By IBE NWACHUKWU
Palpable tension has gripped commercial tricyle operators (Keke na-pep) in Onitha, the commercial nerve centre of Anambra State following the recent murder in cold blood of the Onitsha South Local Area chapter of tricycle revenue collection agent, Mr Ikechukwu Ani. Government
Mr Ani met his untimely death wnen he was ambushed on coming from his Asaba residence, Delta State capital, to Onitsha where he does the keke business when he was reportedly murdered by unknown persons suspected to be members of a rival group.
According to a member of the keke operators in Onitsha, Mr Ebuka Nwafor, “we heard he was coming to work from his house in Asaba, when some armed men operating in four tricycles, said to be the gang that has been terrorizing keke operators in Onitsha and environs, ambushed him at the Asaba end of the Bridge Head approach, stabbed and shot him severally but because the knife and bullets could not penetrate his body, his assailants, on the order of their leaders who are simply identified as Agama and Kapuyaukwu, whisked him to Oko, a suburb of Asaba, and continued the stabbing as also directed by their native doctor, until he eventually died”.
The source hinted that as they were taking his corpse to be thrown into River Niger, on a tip-off, a local vigilante group in the area, in company of police team, confronted them and arrested four of them while others escaped”.
“The deceased who is from Enugu state, was giving the contract for revenue collection in Onitsha South by the Anambra state government, a development which did not go down well with the leaders of the rival group (assailants) especially as they accused him of doing the keke business here in Anambra instead doing it in his home state, warning that they will kill him if he continues to take the keke contract”
“Before this murder of Ani, the source further stated, the group has a pending murder case which the corpse of the person is still in a morque as the suspects are on the run with their leader, simply identified as Mgbiligba”
“Mgbiligb boasts at anywhere and at anytime that he is above arrest that a powerful senator in Anambra state is behind him and we believe him because he has never been detained for more than three days in all the murders and atrocities he has been committing”
“The case is with the Fegge police station Onitsha and they shot one Obumse on the leg the same day, they shot dead their earlier victim because of same keke issue”
Contacted on the alleged previous murder and shooting of one Obumse, the Fegge Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Mr Rabiu Garba, confirmed the incident adding that “about seven of them were arrested and charged to court while others are still at large”
Contacted on the murder in Oko, Asaba suburb, the Delta state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Andrew Aniamaka did not respond to calls put across to him but a senior police officer who pleaded anonymity said “we arrested some who are helping us in the investigation.”