By Ori Martins
The unfolding drama over the alleged murder of 14 youths of Otulu community in Awomamma, Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State has continued to take different dimensions.
The groom, the young man whose traditional wedding event preceded the killings, last Sunday, Mr. Chijioke Nnanna, has stated that those killed were not bandits as claimed by Governor Hope Uzodimma even as he equally debunked the DSS claim that the victims were ESN members.
Speaking to journalist’s in his home town, Nnanna said, “I was the one who took my kindred people to my in-laws for my traditional wedding last Sunday, July 17. After the whole affair which went well, our elders, including my parents, left on the grounds they are aged.
“When we thought we could eventually depart, my guests started deporting, using their motorcycles (okada). Three sets of motorbikes had left and I was preparing to leave.
“However, suddenly, we started hearing of gunshots about three or four poles away. We were scared because we didn’t know what really was happening. The gunshots were heavy and lasted for several hours. And so, my group which would have been the last to depart never did because of fear”.
The groom narrated that nobody would have known what had taken place had the Ebubeagu Security Network succeeded in killing all the persons that left his in-law’s place.
He maintained that those who escaped from the Ebubeagu’s ruthless attack and ran into the bush contracted the community members, including the president general of the area and informed them of what had happened.
He made it clear that it was not the DSS men that killed the youths that attended his traditional wedding, but Ebubeagu outfit.
In his account, the elder brother of the groom, Mr Nnamdi Nnanna, noted that he missed death by the whiskers as the bike carrying him was the fourth.
According to him, “the bike conveying me home was the fourth in line. From behind, we saw how those before us were attacked and killed. By bike rider acrobatically reserved and took off in a terrific speed. Out of fear and anxiety, the bike rider missed my brother’s in – law’s house and we continued.
“Unfortunately, our attackers had used an articulated vehicle to block the other end of the road where we were heading to and so we were trapped there.
Meanwhile the Ebubeagu team trailed us and was shooting at us as it gave us hot chase. As we approached a corner, my bike rider hit a covet in his hasty attempt to do right turn. Sadly, the second man on the bike fell off and was shot and killed.
“By that time I raised my two hands up in surrender and started shouting that I was not a criminal. That I was indigene of the land and that we were coming from a traditional wedding event. Upon looking up, I saw one man called Ogwu popularly known as Mozambique. He is one of the leaders of Ebubeagu Security Network. In fact, he serves as the team’s commander in our area. We have always identified him with Ebubeagu. Therefore, it was confirmed that it was Ebubeagu that carried out this massacre, the the police or DSS as claimed. And we are not bandits”.
The Imo State governor, Hope Uzodinma had claimed that those killed last Sunday’s brutal massacre in Oru East were bandits and the DSS claimed responsibility. This account now contradicts both line of claims.