By Peter Okutu, Abakaliki
Ebonyi State Police Command, Tuesday, arrested ten persons suspected to be involved in burning down the residence of the Council boss of Abakaliki Local Government Area, of the state, Hon Emmanuel Nwangele.
The suspects, according to sources equally burnt down Bosco Guest House, Abakaliki, owned by the Chairman’s Special Assistant on Internally-Generated Revenue, Mr Okechukwu Oniybe and his house.
Vanguard gathered that when men of the Nigerian Police, Army and Ebubeagu who were drafted to the scene to disperse the irate youths started shooting sporadically, the Pastor and founder of Glorious Gospel Fire Assembly, Mr Emeka Ogbonna who was observing morning devotion in his flat, was hit by a stray bullet and died instantly.
The Assistant Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Levi Philip, in a statement, confirmed the arrest, on Wednesday.
He said: “Police in Ebonyi State arrest 10 youths who participated in burning of houses. The CP called on residents of the state to remain vigilant and law-abiding and to go about their lawful business.
“The Commissioner of Police, Ebonyi State Command, regrettably wish to commiserate with the families of those who lost their lives in the ugly incident which ensued among the youths of irate Ebyia-Unuphu community, in Abakaliki Local Government Area, Ebonyi State.
“Recall that, at about 10:00 pm on the 19/09/202, some irate youth of Ebyia-Unuphu community in their numbers invaded the houses of one Okechukwu Onyibe (aka Bosco) and one Sunday Emmanuel Nwangele ‘m’, the Chairman of Abakaliki LGA from Ebyia Unuphu community, set their houses ablaze on the allegation that Bosco, who owns Bosco Guest House in Abakaliki caused the death of one Oluchi Nwibo ‘m’, aged 18 years, a youth from the community.
Same youths mobilised to Bosco Guest House along Hatchery Road, Abakaliki, in a bid to set the guest house ablaze, but they were repelled by Police operatives on the ground.
“In the early hours of 20th September 2021, the same youths of the community regrouped to further carry out their nefarious act of setting the Bosco Guest House ablaze but were quickly repelled by security Operatives on the ground.
“Unfortunately during a gun duel, which ensued between security operatives and the irate youths, who were heavily armed with sophisticated weapons, one Pastor Emeka Ogbonna ‘m’ aged 45 years, who reside opposite the hotel was hit by a stray bullet, and was rushed to the hospital where he was confirmed dead by a medical doctor on call.
“Meanwhile, about ten (10) of the aired irate youths, who took part in the burning of the houses have been arrested and the SA to the Chairman, Okechukwu Onyibe (aka BOSCO), is also in police custody. The investigation is ongoing to ascertain the main cause of the chaos.”