By JIMITOTA ONOYUME
Suspected killers of the repentant militant, the late Soboma George, say they killed him because they could not carry out his directive to eliminate Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and the impeached deputy governor of Bayelsa State, Peremobowei Ebebi.
The suspects, who were arrested in Ondo State and paraded yesterday by the Rivers State police commissioner in Port Harcourt, said they used the AK 47 rifles the late Soboma gave them to carry out the operation to kill him. They are Emmanuel Gladstone aka Tommy, Pere Fiofiri and Doubra Ogbe.
They were arrested in Ondo State in company of their alleged native doctor, Segun Babagbemi. The native doctor, according to them, provided them protective charms for their illicit operations.
The three suspects had earlier been named by the Rivers police commissioner as the killer of Soboma, but denied. When asked why they denied initially, they said they were afraid that the police would come after them. They suspects also accused men of the state Anti- Robbery Squad, SARS, of working with Soboma. When pressed by the police commissioner for names of police men that worked with the late Soboma, they went blank.
Meanwhile, the trio said they had no choice but to kill Soboma when it became clear to them that he was after their lives because they failed to executive his order.
They said: “Soboma gave us three AK-47 rifles to kill Ebebi, former deputy governor of Bayelsa State, and the Rivers State governor, but we refused.
“The first job he gave us was to kill the governor of Rivers State at Liquid Night Club and the second one was to kill Ebebi. We did not kill him (Soboma) because of money, but because we didn’t know what to do. We are tired of running and hiding.
“We refused to kill Ebebi because we have accepted the amnesty programme and peace has come and Ebebi is an Ijaw man. Should we kill our brother?
“We were tired of hiding from him. Soboma had been looking for us with rifles to kill us with police officers working with him. He had killed many people. He had all the connections and since we don’t have money and connections, we used the rifles he gave to us to kill Ebebi to kill him.”
Soboma George was buried yesterday in his Buguma home town. Before the burial, some youths suspected to be his boys had, last Friday, harassed traders at the town’s market. They shot sporadically demanding one thousand naira from each of the traders for the burial. But many of the traders did not comply as they fled.