No fewer than seven houses and several vehicles were razed down by protesting youths of Oruku community in the Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State on Sunday following the killing of the traditional ruler, Igwe Emmanuel Mba, by suspected operatives of the newly-formed police Special Weapons and Tactics Team.
PUNCH Metro learnt that a combined team of soldiers, policemen and personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps had been deployed in the community to restore peace.
Our correspondent gathered that the suspected SWAT operatives, led by one Inspector Danladi, shot the monarch while he was addressing members of his community at the town hall on Saturday and he bled to death before he could get medical attention.
The policemen were said to have arrested one Mr Agozie Ani, who was also at the meeting.
Community sources told our correspondent that the policemen, who were in mufti and wielding AK-47 rifles, invaded the venue of the meeting in an SUV and a Sienna around 2pm on Saturday, adding that immediately they alighted from the vehicle, they moved into the hall and sought to see the monarch.
They were said not to have disclosed their mission, but rather sought to see the monarch.
The policemen, according to one of the sources, were escorted to the town hall by three natives of Oruku identified as Emmanuel Nwobodo, Onyema Edeh and Sunday Onunze, who also left with the cops in the same vehicles.
They were reported to have come with the team and left with the cops when the atmosphere turned bloody.
The source stated, “The traditional ruler was presiding over the meeting and the three natives pointed at him; immediately one of the policemen shot him on the thigh and he fell down and was bleeding.
“There was confusion after the monarch was shot. Everybody in the hall ran for safety as the armed men started shooting in all directions. Amidst the confusion, they made attempts to arrest some of those at the meeting.”
It was learnt that the traditional ruler, who was elected by his community on December 26, 2019, bled to death before he could get medical attention.
Another source told our correspondent that the policemen took the bleeding monarch and Ani to the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Parklane, when they noticed that Mba was dying, but the hospital refused to admit him and told the cops that there was no bed space.
“They were referred to the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu, but on arrival, doctors at the Emergency Unit pronounced the monarch dead.”
His corpse was deposited in the National Orthopaedic Hospital mortuary, while the whereabouts of Agozie was unknown as of the time of filing this report.
A former Chairman of the Nkanu East Local Government Council, who hails from the community, Ejike Ani, confirmed the incident to PUNCH Metro on Sunday.