Five persons were confirmed dead in Anambra at the weekend when gunmen and members of the Vigilance group clashed.
The incident occurred at Ihiala local government area where gunmen have held sway for a long time.
The residents, in a viral video, hailed the vigilance group seen shooting none stop in celebration while carrying the corpses in a Hilux vehicle along the way.
According to a source: “It is true. The incident happened at Akwa village in Ihiala during a clash between Vigilante and unknown gunmen.
“The gunmen have a camp at a place called Oseakwa from where they have been terrorising Ihiala, Okija, Uli, and other neighbouring communities.
“For some time, the gunmen have been disrupting burials and demanding to be settled before any ceremony is organized. They are also the group that has been kidnapping people and snatching cars.
“On June 17, Vigilante swooped on the gunmen in their camp and five people were killed during the shootout.
” The security operatives loaded the corpses in a Hilux van and paraded them around the villages.”
It was also gathered that another group of Vigilance group clashed with the gunmen at a different spot in the same local government area during a burial ceremony but no life was lost
The incident, it was gathered, forced the burial to be put off while the corpse was returned to the morgue
The source said: “It was terrible. What happened was that one Ekene who is a businessman in Ihiala was burying his late brother and his in-laws from Imo State came with members of Ebubeagu to protect them only to be confronted by people who said they are unknown gunmen in charge of Ihiala.
“The argument of the gunmen was that Ebubeagu people ought not to enter Anambra State when there are people controlling the area.
” The incident happened at the village called Umuojimaka in Akwa and when the shooting became so much, the family took back the corpse to the mortuary. No new date has been fixed for the burial.”
Ikenga Tochukwu, the Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, confirmed the report but said one of the people killed had been on the wanted list of the Police Command.
He said Anambra Police Command had reinforced Ihiala and its environs following a trending video of SUV’s and Hilux vehicles carrying young men that were welding arms to yet unidentified location.
“Information from eyewitness account shows that violent clash ensued between two criminal gang and further details confirmed the killing of one Innocent Obieke (a k a double lion) and three others.
“Double lion, has been on the police wanted list and has featured in attacks on police formations, military locations, and other government infrastructure.
“Meanwhile, Police patrol is ongoing in the area and the situation is being monitored,” Tochukwu said.
Source: The Nation