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Police begin manhunt for killers of 49-year-old Samuel shot by gunmen in Benue

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By our reporter, Lafia

Benue State Command of the Nigeria Police Force say it has commenced a full investigation into the killing of 49-year-old Awodi Samuel by yet to be identified gunmen in Atakpa of Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State.

Investigation by our correspondent shows that the incident happened on Sunday, March 24, 2024.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Benue State Command SP Catherine Anene, who confirmed the unfortunate via telephone interview in Lafia on Friday, told our correspondent that the command was yet to arrest the suspected gunmen, adding that investigation into the unfortunate incident is still ongoing.

Her words, “The Command is on top of the situation and in no distance time the command will arrest all the suspects links to the crime will be apprehended and the perpetrators would be found and made to face the full wrath of the law.

“The Command has declared a manhunt for the suspects. We have set our dragnets and we are set to arrest them,” she added.

However, the relatives of the deceased have called on both President Bola Tinubu and the Benue state governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia to as a matter of urgency intervene in the matter to ensure that all the suspects are fished.

Narrating the circumstances that led to the mysterious dead of his elder brother to our correspondent in Lafia on Friday, Mr Awodi Ochepo said his late brother went for his cousin’s burial at Atakpa and while he was standing videoing the burial’s events with his cell phone all of a sudden some suspected gunmen invaded the area and shot him five times at close range.

He said, “My elder brother just bid us an emotionally farewell to attend the burial ceremony of his cousin and he never came back again. He is the only bread winner of our family. He has never hurt a fly or an ant. Unexpectedly some unidentified gunmen came from nowhere and shot him five times at close range.

“This world is a wicked wold. What offence did my elder brother could have possibly committed that the gunmen had to take his life?

“He was just standing videoing the burial events with him cell phone and before he knew what was going on the suspected gunmen had gun him down with no just reason,” Mr. Ochepo expressed worry.

He said, “My elder brother was gruesomely murdered by suspected gunmen in Benue State and they left him in the pool of his blood. It was a passer-by that rushed him to the hospital in Egba in Agatu Local Government where he was confirmed dead by the doctor on duty due to the deep bullet wound he sustained from the gun shot.”

Mr. Ochepo, younger brother to the deceased also told our correspondent that immediately the incident happened he reported to the Police Division at Obagaji, the headquarters of Agatu Local Government and all his efforts to ensure that those behind his dead were arrested but no avail.

“My brother, Mr. Awodi Samuel popular known as Sam-Ogam was killed by yet to be identified gunmen in Atakpa village,” Mr. Ochepo

According to him, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Obagaji, a Chief Supridentend of Police whose only name was given as Dube arrested some of the Atakpa community leaders in connection to the crime, but later released them after investigated that they had no hand in the dead of Samuel.

He, however, appealed to the Police operatives and other sisters security agencies in the area to go after the suspected gunmen that killed his elder brother and ensure they are being prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others.

While lamenting over the untimely dead for his elder brother, Mr. Ochepo said, “I want to use this medium to appeal to both President Bola Tinubu and the Benue state governor, Rev.Fr.Alia to as a matter of urgency intervene on the matter.”

He, further appealed to the Inspector General of the Police, Mr. Kayode Egbetokun, the National Security Advicser, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, the Department of State Security Service (DSSS), and all others security operatives to ensure the suspected gunmen are being arrested.

He also urged the inspector general of police to investigate the proliferations of fire harms for the safety of innocent Nigerian living in Agatu Local government area of Benue state.

Mr. Yakubu Ochepo, Chairman of Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State who also confirmed the incident to our correspondent via telephone, explained that it was suspected gunmen that shot the deceased, adding that the operatives of the Nigeria Police Force, Benue State command is investigating the incident to ensure that those behind the killings are brought to book to face the full wrath of the law.

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