By Simon Ebegbulem
THE political tension in Edo State heightened, weekend, after a chieftain of the Action Congress, AC, Mr Oghogho Omorogbe, who declared his intention last weekend, to run for the House of Representatives seat for Orhionmwon/Uhunmwonde Federal Constituency come 2011 elections, was shot dead by suspected assassins.

The 36-year-old Civil Engineer graduate of the University of Benin was shot dead at his residence at Aitoe Idubor Avenue, Ugbor, GRA Benin City, few hours after he formally declared his ambition in his ward in Uhonmwode.

The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo State, in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Nosa Adams, described the killing as callous, saying: “It confirms the consistent cry of the PDP in the state that the AC is made up of desperate and do-or-die politicians who will get to any extent to realise their ambition.”

But the AC through Retti Uzzi, Publicity Secretary of the party, absolved the party from the incident, asserting that “we should allow the police to investigate the matter. It is unfortunate that it happened but I want to state that the AC abhors violence. We have told all our aspirants to play politics of no bitterness and that anybody involved in violence will be disqualified and we still maintain our stand.”

It was learnt that the suspected assassins who laid siege to the deceased at the gate of his rented apartment, waited patiently for him to come down from his vehicle to open the gate. After he opened the gate, the assassins, five in number, pursued him and shot him in the presence of his mother in-law, Mrs Stella Amadasun.

When newsmen visited the family house of the deceased wife, Osato Oghogho, it was a pitiable sight. She held their one month old son, weeping endlessly with scores of sympathizers around her. She could not talk. However, the mother, Mrs Amadasun, who witnessed when the assassins rained bullets on the deceased, narrated the incident.

According to her, “He just came back from the campaign on Saturday; he came back home around 8pm for the first time and then left again instructing his wife to prepare food for him. He came with a boy and then they prayed together before he left again and told his wife that he would be back, this was around 9 pm.

Later that night, we heard the sound of a car and my daughter told me that her husband was back. Shortly after he opened the gate and was going back into his car to drive inside the compound, we heard him shout, Jesus! thief, thief then he ran into the other corner of the compound but he fell down when there was no escape route.

“Then I ran to them and was begging that they should spare him at least because of their one month old first child. Then I heard gunshots and they ran through the other side. I quickly ran to him and started shouting for help; he called for his parents before he passed out, then police was called.

He was first taken to Central Hospital but the workers were on strike so there was nobody to attend to us, we went a private hospital (name withheld) they said there was no doctor before the police now said they were taking him to UBTH were he was later pronounced dead. They were about five of them but we did not see their faces because it was dark”.

The state police spokesman, ASP Peter Ogboi, said the state commissioner of police, Mr Kachi Udeoji has ordered that the homicide section of the police take over the case from Ugbor Police Station where the case was reported. “As I talk to you now, the commissioner of police has already directed that the case be taken over by the headquarters and the homicide department is already working and very soon, we will unravel the culprits. What we have done so far is to confirm the death”.

On whether the killing was politically motivated, Ogboi said; “We cannot say that yet until the special squad set up to investigate the incident by the commissioner submits its report.”

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