Nigerian police has commenced investigations into the beheading of a lawmaker in the South-eastern state of Anambra, less than a week after gunmen kidnapped him and his assistant.
Over the weekend, Okechukwu Okoye’s disfigured body was discovered, sparking outrage on social media across the country.
The head of Okoye was yesterday found hung on a stake at Nnobi in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The incident was described as gruesome, barbaric, and shocking by Anambra state Governor Charles Soludo.
He announced a N10 Million reward for information leading to the killers’ capture. It is not clear who was behind the attack, however, multiple reports indicate that Nigeria’s proscribed separatist group IPOB are responsible for the onslaught. The ‘Unknown Gunmen’ seized Okoye and his aide in Aguata, abandoning his Toyota Sienna car.
There has been unprecedented attacks on systems, structures, and residents in the South-East in recent months, raising fears and sparking tension amongst residents with kidnappings, killings, lootings, and destruction of property now rampant.
These attacks come at a time of increased bloodshed in the East following attacks on Police formations, security personnel, and residents by unknown gunmen.
Between February and October 21, 2021, no fewer than 255 civilians, including security agents, had been gruesomely killed, while property worth billions of naira, including entire communities, had been destroyed.
The Monday sit-at-home order, which was imposed across Igboland by the separatist group IPOB in response to the arrest and detention of its leader and founder, Mazi Nnmadi Kanu, also devolved into a series of violence, including the killing of defenseless and innocent residents, as well as property destruction.
Nnamdi Kanu was first charged and arrested in 2015 before a Federal High Court in Abuja for treason, unlawful possession of guns, and illegal importation of broadcast equipment. The notorious secessionist was captured and extradited back to Nigeria on June 29, 2021.
Following his detention, IPOB declared a Monday sit-at-home order for the whole South-East, thereby halting economic and business activity in the region.
Every Monday, markets, schools, banks, motor parks, and even worship centers in certain areas in the South-East were shuttered due to threats of violence and mayhem conducted by suspected IPOB/ESN militants.
INEC offices, security facilities, and other government offices were attacked and set on fire at various times.
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