*Two victims burnt to ashes, two soldiers shot
By Perez Brisibe
Corpses of eight farmers from Uwheru in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State reportedly killed by hoodlums suspected to be herdsmen last Friday, have been exhumed, on Monday, by a search team made up of the police and representatives of the community for investigation.
This is just as community’s leaders revealed that two of the victims killed were burnt to ashes by their assailants, who the locals claim are armed herdsmen.
It was gathered that two of the corpses were exhumed on Sunday, while six were exhumed on Monday.
One of the victims reportedly killed and burnt was identified as Itoje Dennis from Otor-Iyede in Isoko North Local Government Area of the state.
President-General of the community, Cassidy Akpedafe, and the Delta State Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, had Sunday disagreed on the reported killings with the police boss claiming that some individuals were using the reports to cause apprehension in the state.
The CP, while questioning the authenticity of the claims that eight persons were killed by the herdsmen with the aide of persons dressed in military uniforms, said: “If there are any (deaths), why are they hiding such corpses from the police?”
Reacting to the claims of the CP, President-General of the community, Akpedafe, accused the CP of being economical with the truth and in a swift move to prove him wrong, the community Sunday afternoon, succeeded in exhuming two corpses of those killed and took them to the Central Hospital, Ughelli, for autopsy.
When Vanguard visited the hospital morgue, on Monday, the decomposing corpses of two of the victims were seen, one of which was burnt before it was buried.
Akpedafe said: “As we speak (Monday morning), seven persons were killed in the bush and we are yet to recover their corpse.
“17 persons have been rushed to the hospital for medical treatment and I want to use this opportunity to appeal to the police not to cook up reports on this matter.”
Meanwhile, a security source from the 222 Battalion, Agbarha-Otor, has confirmed that two of its men were shot during last Friday melee in the community.
Though the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, could not confirm who shot the soldiers but said: “Yes, two soldiers from the battalion who are stationed at Bomadi and drafted to the area, sustained injuries during the incident.
“They are in stable condition and are currently receiving medical attention for injuries sustained during the incident at the Bomadi General Hospital.”