Governor David Umahi has confirmed the kidnap and killing of road contractors and policemen working in the Effium community in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi state.
The five contractors in charge of the Ring Road Effium section were kidnapped by unknown gunmen in the area on November 3, 2021.
The victims identified as Nelson Onyemeh, Stanley Nwazulum, Ernest Edeani, IK Ejiofor and Samuel Aneke, were all Engineers working with Nelan Consultants, an Engineering Firm based in Enugu.
Police officers returning from investigation activities in connection with the abducted engineers were attacked by gunmen said to be Ezza warriors at Igbuduoke village in Effium/Ezza Clan in Ohaukwu on Sunday, November 28.
Police spokesperson, DSP Loveth Odah in a statement noted that two officers were abducted by the hoodlums while three police officers and the member representing Ohaukwu North in the State House of Assembly, Chinedu Awo, luckily escaped the area with different degrees of injuries.
Umahi disclosed the latest development on Tuesday, during a security meeting organised by the state’s founding fathers led by Chief Martin’s Elechi former Governor of Ebonyi, Christian Association of Nigeria among others.
According to the governor, the suspects arrested over the abducted engineers confessed that they have been killed and buried.
The Governor promised to approach the state House of Assembly for the way forward on the chairman of the council and the two house of assembly members from the area.
According to him, even though the perpetrators of the killings and destruction in the area are funded from outside, some stakeholders of the area within the state, also contribute to the funding of the warriors which has caused the crisis to linger.
The governor also sacked two development centre coordinators of Effium community and all the permanent secretaries from the area.
“The coordinators of the two development centres from the area are hereby removed from office while salaries of permanent secretaries from the area are suspended,” he stated.
“Recently, five construction workers on the state’s Ring Road which passes through the area were killed by unknown people and these workers who know nothing about the crisis were here to help the state.
“He said that the suspects arrested over the incident confessed that the workers have been killed and buried and the government in pacifying the affected families, sought to know the location of where they were buried.
“The hoodlums ambushed the security team who went to the area and officers have been reported killed or missing,” he added.
Meanwhile, police PPRO said DSP Bruno Chukwu and two others who sustained bullet wound injuries are currently responding to treatment.
“On 28/11/2021 at about 1340hrs Police Operatives were returning from investigation activities in connection with the three missing engineers who were abducted in the same area on the 3rd of November, 2021 while on Ring Road site project, the statement read.
“The operatives were in the company of Hon. Chinedu Awo a member representing Ohaukwu North Constituency in the State House of Assembly who accompanied the operatives to enable him to dialogue with the warriors at Igbuduoke village in Effium/Ezza clan ‘the warring community’ in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the State.
“They were ambushed by armed Ezza warriors numbering over 60 who attacked them from all flanks but the operatives gallantry fought back, resulting in heavy casualties on the side of the attackers.
“However, DSP Bruno Chukwu and two others sustained bullet wound injuries and are currently responding to treatment, while two police officers by name, Sergeant Donatus Osugwu and Sergeant Thaddeus Ugoeze are suspected to have been abducted by the hoodlums as they were discovered missing in action.
“Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police Ebonyi State Command CP. Aliyu Garba led a convoy of about seven teams on reinforcement where they cordoned the forest and searched the village but could not find the missing officers nor the perpetrators.
Efforts are in top gear to ensure the perpetrators are tracked down and arrested.” the police spokesperson said.