By Peter Duru – Makurdi
Yet to be identified military personnel have allegedly abducted and murdered a tax collector and Senior Inspector of Taxes with the Benue State Internal Revenue Service, BIRS, Mr. Terfa Akure in Makurdi.
Vanguard gathered the Akure was abducted from his duty post at about 11pm Saturday at a gazetted BIRS Inspection point located close to the ‘C’ Dvision of the State Police Command in the North Bank area of Makurdi town.
According to an eyewitness who is also known as a ‘barrier boy’ at the inspection point who spoke in condition of anonymity, the suspected military personnel stormed the inspection point in a military van.
“They came in a military vehicle at about 11am, shouting and threatening to kill everyone and we all started running. But Mr. Akure said he would not run becaue he was on legitimate duty and was sent to his duty post by the governemnt.
“When they got to him, they started beating him up and took away his phone and the funds collected by the team on night duty. After that they bundled him into their vehicle and took him away.
“We only saw that his dead body was this Sunday morning at about 6am dropped on the roadside at Yagba community very close to the Ape Aku Housing Estate in North Bank of Makurdi,” he said.
Vanguard gathered that the discovery of Akure’s corpse at Yagba, Sunday morning sparked outrage and almost triggered a violent protest by members of the community but the quick intervention of Governor Samuel Ortom’s Security Adviser, Colonel Paul Hemba and other top government functionaries who were asked to take charge of the matter by the Governor. They prevailed on the angry youths of the area who had already made bonfire to jettison their plan to embark on the protest.
Meanwhile a statement by the Executive Chairman of BIRS, Mrs. Mimi Adzape-Orubibi issued in Makurdi confirm the murder of her personnel.
Mrs. Adzape-Orubibi expressed deep shock and pain over the gruesome murder of Mr. Akure.
Part of the statement read, “I have received with deep shock and pain, the sad news of the brutal murder of one of my staff, Sixtus Terfa Akure, who until his death was a Senior Inspector of Taxes.
“Unconfirmed sources indicate that the late Sixtus was whisked away last night by military personel in what has become a regular occurrence, and his mangled body was found early hours of today around Aper Aku Estate by the road side.
“I am understandably deeply pained by his death. And the circumstances under which he died.
“As a service we condemn this in the strongest terms possible. We offer our deepest condolences to the immediate family of this young man who paid the supreme price in service to the State.
“I want to assure all staff of the service that we will leave no stone unturned in getting to the rock bottom of this matter. The perpetrators will be brought to justice no matter what it takes.
“I have since made a formal report to Governor Ortom who has not only offered his condolences but has already given assurances that the state government will never abdicate it’s responsibility to protect citizens and residents of the state.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent Catherine Anene who confirmed the murder of the tax official said she was yet to receive information on the circumstances surrounding the murder.
“The corpse was evacuated by the Police but I am yet to receive details of the death,” she said.