By Simon Ebegbulem & Gabriel Enogholase
Benin City – PoliticalÂ tension heightened today in Edo state, after the immediate past Commissioner for Works in the state, Mr. Anthony Iyalekhue, was murdered at his residence by suspected assassins.
The family of the deceased through his twin brother, Mr Julius Iyalekhue said his death was politically motivated.
Iyalekhue was the Commissioner for Lands, Survey and House, during the Governor Oserhiemen Osunbor led administration but was later posted to Works before the Appeal Court sacked the administration. He was a member of the faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state led by two time Governor of the old Bendel state, Dr Samuel Ogbemudia.
Meanwhile, Dr Ogbemudia who expressed shock over his death, called on the police and other security agencies to fish out the killers. He warned that â€œ this must not be another murder that will just be swept under the carpet, it must be investigated and the killers must be exposed to the worldâ€.
WhenÂ VanguardÂ visited his Ugbor, GRA residence today, it was tears all the way while scores of sympathizers who throng the place wondered who would have killed the 48 year-old Lawyer and politician.
His Personal Assistant, Benjamin Ekhator who witnessed theÂ murder of his boss, narrated that â€œ through out yesterday he was out side. When we were driving around Sapele road, he called me and said Benjamin, I do not like the way one Mercedes was driving behind him. So I advised that we should park and see what happens. So we now parked inside the Total filling station.
Having parked there for some time, we now drove back to Mission Road and from there we came back home.
â€œToward the evening period, there was this bricklayer working for us out side, he said we should go outside the gate to see what the man was doing. But as we were checking the work, a brown 505 car drove closer to our house but diverted before our house. So he asked me who were those people, I said I do not know. Surprisingly, as we were about entering the compound, the people resurfaced.
â€œThere were four of them but two came out with a Pump Action gun and one of them had a pistol. They started shooting him until they were satisfied that he was dead.
Two of them were carrying a pump action, one a pistol. I was lying on the ground with the brick layer but they did not concentrate on us, even when he was dead, they were still shooting atÂ him. After that one of them said he is down let us go and they drove off. The police came immediately after that but the people have leftâ€ he narrated.
In a swift reaction, Dr Ogbemudia lamented: â€œI did not sleep at all in the night. I am finding it extremely difficult to go to his house to see it with my eyes what could have gone wrong. I pray that the Almighty God will expose the killers while comforting the family. I want to appeal to the police to quickly do some thing and bring the killers to book. We should not record this as another unresolved murder. Who ever have any useful information should report to the nearest police station or any PDP officeâ€.
Speaking also, the deceased twin brother Julius, asserted that â€œ I was called to come to Benin and when I got here I found out that my brother was dead.
I am aware that my brother has been having political squabbles among his own political party. And that is what I feel killed him. He was having problem with political godfathers in Ovia South West. I cannot mention names now but I know the problem was purely politicalâ€.
Contacted, the state Police Public Relaitons Officer, ASP Peter Ogboi, condemned the killing and said the Command was seriously investigating the murder.