By Perez Brisibe
UGHELLI—THERE was pandemonium on Sunday night at Ekuigbo, Ughelli, Delta State, as a result of a shoot out by suspected members of two rival cult gangs which led to the death of two members from both sides.
Commercial activities were grounded as shops were hurriedly locked up in fear of reprisal attacks by the cultists and wanton arrest by the police and other security agents in the town as a result of the killings.
The incident occurred in front of Tozak Hotel, located on the Ughelli-Warri road, Ekuigbo, at about 9pm.
It was gathered that both victims died on the spot, while gang members of one of the casualties fled the scene with the remains of their colleague.
Sunday’s killing is the fourth in five days, in what had been described as a renewed cult war that had engulfed Ughelli and its environs, leaving residence at the mercy of the cultists, while security agencies seemed helpless in combating the scourge.
As at 9:34pm when Vanguard visited the scene of the incident, the remains of one of the victims in his late 20s was still in the middle of the road, while policemen from Ughelli ‘A’ Division and the local vigilante, popularly referred to as Bakassi, were seen within and outside the hotel premises investigating the incident.
According to a member of the vigilante at the scene of the incident, the victim died on the spot after he was shot at close range at the back of his head with a shotgun.
He said: “This guy has been on our wanted list for a while now. He is a hit man who has been the brain behind most of the cult related killings in Ughelli of recent.”
Meanwhile, a food vendor, who sells directly opposite the hotel where the incident occurred, gave the name of the victim as Ovigue whose father operates a record store along Market Road, Ughelli.
She said: “We were all standing here attending to customers when suddenly we heard gunshots with two persons on the ground.”
“While melee ensued, friends of one of the shot victims, carried him and fled through Ataverhe Street, while friends of the second casualty (Ovigue) absconded, leaving him in a pool of his own blood.”