Akwa Ibom State Police Command said it has arrested 15 persons for allegedly killing Chief Henry Esimeme, the village head of Nsie community and one Sunday Walter Ukoh in Okobo Local Government Area of the State.
The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), CSP Frederick N-Nudam who disclosed this in a press statement on Tuesday said 14 persons, have also been declared wanted by the police in connection with the incident.
Among the suspects is the Supervisory Councilor for Finance in Okobo local government council, Nkereuwem John, who is said to have teamed up with a youth leader, Usong Morrison John to mastermind the crime.
N-Nudam said the Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal ordered the arrest of the suspects for allegedly taking laws into their hands by avenging the death of a former youth president of the village, Aniefiok Mkpo-Abasi.
He said Aniefiok Mkpo-Abasi allegedly died after drinking some local gins mixed with herbal concoction in the house of Sunday Walter Ukoh, thereby sparking the suspicion and anger that he was deliberately killed.
The statement reads in parts, “The Police Command received a disturbing report of mayhem in Nsie village occasioned by an incident in which the former youth president of Nsie village, one Aniefiok Mkpo-Abasi a.k.a King of Boys was alleged to have died on 12th July, 2020 on suspicion of drinking some local gins mixed with herbal concoction in the house of one Sunday Walter Ukoh of the same address.
“Following the incident, some disgruntled youths and elders of Nsie village under the aegis of the youth president, one Usong Morrison John and Nkereuwem John the Supervisory Councilor for Finance, Okobo Local Government Area arose from a meeting held at the village square and allegedly attacked and killed the village head of Nsie, one Chief Henry Esimeme and Sunday Walter Ukoh.
“In a related development, the hoodlums set a house on fire while another one was damaged.
“The Commissioner of Police Immediately deployed patrol teams to the village and restored normalcy while fifteen (15) of the suspects fingered in the incident were arrested in two separate operations on 15th and 19th July, 2020.
“However, the Commissioner of Police wondered why the people did not take advantage of the community policing platform already in the area to resolve all differences, but rather resorted to jungle justice and at the end committed murder.”
He disclosed that special units of the police command have been mandated to fish out other culprits currently on the run.
“Again, the CP warns other suspected perpetrators of the crime who had deserted or fled from the community to report at the nearest police station in their own interest or risk arrest and prosecution.
“The Commissioner of Police appeals to the good people of Akwa Ibom State, particularly the indigenes of Nsie village to volunteer useful information on the whereabouts of the above-wanted persons for arrest and investigation”, Nnudam said.