Residents of Otulu communities in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State, on Monday, took to the streets in protest after gunmen said to be operatives of Ebube Agu Security outfit allegedly opened fire and killed 14 wedding guests.
Ebube Agu is a security outfit set up by the Governor Hope Uzodinma government in the state to complement the effort of the police in tackling insecurity in the state.
Many accounts put the number of those killed at 14, a development that had put Imo in a state of panic.
The victims were going back to their community in Otulu in Oru East Local Government Area of the state from Awomama in the neighbouring Oru West LGA when the gunmen opened fire on them.
The President General of Otulu community, Nnamdi Agbor, who spoke to Punch, however, said that seven persons died on the spot.
The community leader said, “Our people were coming back from Awo Omamma around 7pm after a traditional wedding.
“Ebubeagu operatives saw them in motorcycles and opened fire on them.
“As I speak to you, we have recovered seven dead bodies who are our people. Five are missing, two are critically injured and hospitalised, while the other person who sustained minor injury has been discharged.
“This is very unfortunate. Our people are angry. They are protesting. There was no cause for the killing. They were just riding home when the Ebubeagu Security outfit opened fire on them. This has never happened before.
“We have reported the incident to the security agents. The commissioner of police and the commander of the 34 artillery Brigade command Obinze have visited. The DPO is also assisting. I have reported the killing to the member representing us at the parliament.
“The celebrant is Chijioke Nnanna. Those arrested are Uchenna Orjiribeka, Chido Ekesinachi and Nnamdi Ekesinachi. Those in the hospital are Oluebube Agbor and ThankGod Iheukwumere. Those who were killed are, Chigozie Obinwa, Ozioma, Chikere Anyadioha, Ifechi Ekesinachi, Emeka Ekesinachi, Aboy Ihegboro and Chijindu. Five people are still missing.”
When contacted, the Police Spokesperson, Micheal Abattam, confirmed the incident and disclosed that investigation had begun.