By Francis Efe
The Delta State Police Command have confirmed the killing of Mr Freedom Odiete, chairman of Udu Harbour Market in Udu council area of Delta State.
The Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, Onome Onowakpoyeya, who confirmed the murder of the market chairman to Vanguard on Monday in a telephone chart, said Odiete was murdered on Sunday by men believed to be hired assassins.
Odiete, who was popularly known as Opito, was killed by arms-wielding hoodlums who waylaid him by the Cross-and-Stop Junction near Ekete Inland Junction along the DSC/Udu Expressway in Udu area of the state.
Opito, according to sources who witnessed the incident, was driving a Pathfinder Jeep when he was ambushed and shot on the left hand by his murderers, after two failed attempts on life last week.
The deceased who immediately jumped outside his Jeep was chased by the gunmen to Orhuwhorun Road before he was repeatedly shot again by the hoodlums.
It was gathered that the attack could be connected with the crisis rocking the ownership of the Udu Habour Market between youths in Ovwian and Owhase communities.
Findings revealed that both communities have been in tussle over who controls the market with the late chairman insisting that the leadership of the market would not be divided along community line.
“This is the third time gunmen have gone after him. I was two poles away when I heard the gunshots raining the air. When the gunshots subsided we rushed out only to see that it was Opito (Freedom Odiete) that was killed. He was attacked last week but God being so kind, he survived it.
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“We learnt that Owhase and Ovwian communities have been having issues of Udu Habour Market. He has been receiving threats from some persons over the issue”, a friend of the deceased told our correspondent.
He was also alleged to have been attacked last year.