Some suspected thugs on Thursday reportedly attacked the head of the Ukhiri community in the Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State, Enogie Godwin Aigbe, leaving the monarch unconscious.
Aigbe, who is receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital, was said to have sustained deep machete cuts and gunshot wounds all over his body.
Several other members of the community were also reportedly injured in the attack.
An eyewitness, who was with Aigbe when the incident happened, Henry Osagie, said “Some boys came and started shooting again and the police started shooting tear gas into the palace; the Enogie noticed smoke inside the house and thought they had set the compound on fire, so he escaped through the back door to a nearby house and I ran out with him.
“It was when he was running that one of them spotted him and shouted that it was the Enogie; they ran after him, shot at him repeatedly and then hit him with a plank; he fell down and they descended on him with the plank, hitting his head, neck and legs, and shot at him at a close range.”
Another eyewitness, Ogbomo Osaigbovo, said he drove the injured Enogie to hospital but the police declined to provide security.
He said he was coming to the community to celebrate the Igue festival with the Enogie when he noticed smoke everywhere.
“I was trying to turn back when they told me that the Enogie had been killed and we rushed him to hospital,” Osaigbovo stated.
“The hoodlums shot at the Enogie after which they stabbed him several times and used planks to break his bones. They also destroyed the five cars in his compound,” a source said.
An eyewitness, Osayande Okhuarobo, told Southern City News, “We were all gathered in the Enogie’s palace on Monday to celebrate the Igue festival with him when we suddenly saw people running out of the community to the palace; they told us that some youths came to drive them out and that those who were building on their sites, their properties were destroyed.
“Shortly after, these same youths came to the palace, armed with guns and several weapons and pursued us; we ran into the bush. They destroyed the vehicles at the palace, the canopies and chairs, and scattered the food being cooked.”
The younger brother to the Enogie, Sylvester Aigbe, urged security agencies to investigate the attack on the monarch and the alleged complicity of some policemen.
He said he was called on Monday that his brother was attacked and had to rush down from Lagos.
It was gathered that the Enogie had been at loggerheads with the Ulegun community over 222 hectares of land.
Both communities have been engaged in a cold war over the land since 1975.
The spokesman for the Edo State Police Command, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, confirmed the attack but denied reports that the Enogie was dead.
He said efforts were on to arrest the perpetrators.
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