By Ike Uchechukwu
CALABAR—Residents of Ikot Effanga Mkpa community in Calabar Municipal Local Government Area of Cross River State are said to be living in fear, following the murder of a prominent business man in the area, Vitalis Okoro, alias Egokent.
It was gathered that Mr. Okoro, a 62-year-old father of three, was beaten to death by the suspected assassins, who gained access into the house in the early hours of Tuesday through the window.
After they killed him, they reportedly dragged his corpse into his vehicle and drove off, but later abandoned the vehicle and his lifeless body few kilometres from his house.
A resident, Dr. Andrew Bassey, told Vanguard that the community is still at a loss as to what happened and yet to come to grips with the tragedy.
His words : “I think they may have come in from the back door, because if they had gone in through the front door, we would have heard and raised an alarm.
“When I heard a shout from the apartment and woke up, I wanted to call the Police but I had no airtime on my phone.
“It happened very fast and I do not think they were robbers. They came just to kill him and it is a pity.”
Younger brother’s story
The deceased’s younger brother, Moses Okoro, described the death of his brother as a very sad event that has left the family in deep shock and grief.
Chidiebere told Vanguard that his elder brother was a businessman, who faced some challenges due to the economic situation in the country and with the help of family members, decided to auction his property in Calabar so as to facilitate his relocation and re-establishment in Imo State, his home town.
According to him, “my brother has been at loggerheads with his wife for the past four to five years now, and so many attempts have been made to settle the issue but all to no avail.
“They got married in court and not in the church and ever since they married, there has always been trouble.
“She is a nice lady and likes welcoming people; she also allows and makes the husband to assist other people.
“That is one good thing about her, but she is too troublesome and stubborn.”
Vanguard learned that someone, who is considered a prime suspect in the crime, is in Police custody and investigation is ongoing to ascertain the immediate and remote cause of the tragedy.
When contacted, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Irene Ugbo, confirmed the incident.
She said the matter is currently being investigated by the Police, adding that the matter has been transferred from the Federal Housing Police Station to the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, for comprehensive investigations.