•Threatens to kill noisy family members
•Frightened family begs hoodlums to release head, body for burial
•We are investigating incident – Police
By Emma Amaize and Davies Iheamnachor
AJAKAJA—A group of cult-ists operating at Ajakaja town, Andoni Local Government Area, Rivers State, has audaciously confiscated the remains of an All Progressives Congress, APC, chieftain, Mr. Ignatius Ephraim-Bara, who they abducted in broad daylight and decapitated in a shrine, over a month ago.
The family of Ephraim-Bara, a former police officer, is begging the coldblooded cultists, who had threatened to eliminate any of them that speaks publicly on the bizarre incident, to reveal where they kept his corpse and guillotined head to allow relatives exhume the dead body and give him proper burial.
Killers abducted deceased, another APC member
The kingpin of the cult allegedly cut off the victim’s head himself at a shrine in Ajakaja community, February 23, the day of the just-concluded Presidential/National Assembly elections.
Ephraim-Bara, one-time member, Social Rehabilitation Committee during the regime of former governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, now Minister of Transportation, reportedly came home for the elections and was waiting for electoral materials at about 9.40 am at his cousin, Chief Lysias Igaulum’s residence, with other APC supporters when the cultists struck, took him and David Eyoka hostage.
“We gathered that the cult leader received a call on phone from an unidentified person to release Eyoka which he did.
Our reliable source disclosed that some villagers saw the decapitated head of the deceased before the cultists took it and his remains to a secret location, where the remains would have been secretly buried.
Gang threatens to kill family members if…
A senior member of the family, who spoke from his hiding place, disclosed: “Members of the family have been in hiding following threats from the killers of their father that they will kill any of us that makes public statement on the incident or report to the police.
“The family is under serious threat as the killers have vowed to wipe us out if we make complaint to any quarters. The deceased reportedly travelled home, February 22, with some members of his household for the election, but they arrived February 23 morning,” he added.
Killers well known in the community —Source
A source who witnessed the incident told NDV: “At about 9:45am while waiting for electoral materials at Chief Igaulum’s residence with other APC supporters, including David Eyoka, Sampson Itogwung and John Harry, a notorious cult leader and his armed gang came, seized and whisked away Mr Ignatius Bara and Mr David Eyoka to an undisclosed location.
“His killers are well known because the incident happened in broad daylight and they have been moving about freely on the streets,” he said, lamenting the alleged reluctant attitude of the police to investigate and arrest the suspects after they lodged complaint.
Police yet to do anything —Family member
Another family member narrated: “We went home to vote for presidential election and my father was attacked by some hoodlums around 10.00am. They beat him before everybody before taking him and Mr. David away.
“They later took him to a shrine where they killed and beheaded him. As I speak, we have not seen his head and body. We reported to the Chairman, Andoni Local Government Area, Divisional Police Officer, DPO and Police Area Commander. We have even reached the State Command, but they are not saying anything.
“I have also reported to the State Criminal Investigation Department, and they have not done anything. We are calling on the Federal Government and the State Government to come to our aid. We are helpless and living in fear,” he said.
His words: “We are also begging the police to help us recover the corpse of our father and his head so that we can bury him properly.”
A dependable source hinted: “The cultists claimed they killed the deceased based on orders from above.”
Family not working with police —PPRO
Contacted, Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Rivers State Police Command, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, said the police were aware of the development, adding that they have commenced investigation into the crime and would bring the killers to book.
He noted that the incident happened in broad daylight and people saw the killers, but pointed out the victim’s family was not cooperating with the police because of alleged threats by the suspects.