Edo: Herdsmen kill mediator, shoot policemen, complainant

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Suspected Fulani herdsmen have shot and killed an indigene of Ofutebe in Owan in Edo State, Paul Igbashiro, as he was trying to mediate in a dispute between the nomads and a member of the community.

Igbashiro had intervened in the dispute in January 25, 2020, with the use of Hausa language but one.ofnthe herders shot him dead with an AK-47 rifle.

When the incident was reported to the police, a team of investigators was dispatched to the scene.

As the policemen were crossing Ofe River to access the area, the herdsmen began firing at them.

Some of the policemen were hit with bullets in their hands while an inspector went missing along with his rifle.

Confirming the incident, spokesman for the state police command, Mr. Chidi Nwabuzor, said the missing inspector had been rescued alive while the herdsmen would soon be arrested.

He stated "that on January 25 at about 11 a:m, one Joshua Igbashiro ‘m’ of Ofutebe Community reported a case of murder at Ekiadolor Police Divisional Headquarters, Benin City, that on the January 24 at about 4 p:m, a man identified as herder, had misunderstanding with a certain man.

“In the cause of trying to settle them, one Mr. Paul came as a mediator and spoke in Hausa Language to the herder, having the confidence that he understands Hausa Language. Suddenly, the herder shot and killed him with AK 47 riffle.

"Thereafter, the Divisional Police officer, Ekiadolor Division detailed Police operatives led by the District Officer (D.O) Owan Police Station, ASP Okodomi with eleven men from the Vigilante Group of Nigeria and the village Hunters to the Community for the arrest of the suspect and recovery of the gun.

“Unfortunately while the team of Policemen were on board in a boat to cross over Ofe River heading to Ofutebe Community near Owan Community in Ovia North East Local Government area of Edo State, some suspected Herdsmen with AK 47 Riffles ambushed them, fired sporadically at them and in the process ASP Monday Ogeide and the complainant were shot on their hands, while Inspector Ogundele Sunday was not seen immediately after the attack.

“Consequently, the command receiving the report of the incident mobilized a back-up team who rescued ASP Monday Ogeide and the complainant one Joshua Igbashiro ‘m’ and rushed them to an undisclosed hospital for treatment. This time the whereabouts of Inspector Ogundele Sunday was still unknown.

“Efforts were put in place to rescue him, recover his riffle and also to effect the arrest of the suspects.

“On the 28th day of January, 2020, a search party led by CSP Abdullahi Wase, the Divisional Police Officer Ekiadolor Divisional Headquarters in collaboration with the Vigilant Group and the Hunters were dispatched to the scene of crime in search of Inspector Ogundele Sunday.

“After a rigorous and diligent search, the officer was sighted on Ofe River inside a boat and he was rescued alive with his riffle. He was immediately taken to the Hospital where he is currently receiving treatment.

“To this end, the Commissioner of Police Edo State, CP Lawan Tanko Jimeta is by this press release appealing to the family of late Mr. Paul, good people of Ofutebe Community, the herders and the farmers to remain calm and go about their legitimate businesses, that the police is on top of the situation.

“He assures them that the command under his leadership will arrest those that carried out this dastardly act and charge them to court accordingly."