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Mkpat Enin Ticket Violence: Police Closes In On Murder Suspects

...As Council Absolves Chairman Of Any Culpability

The Chairman of Mkpat Enin Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Hon. Mercy Bassey, has absolved her administration from the death of one of its tax collectors, Mr. Samuel Monday Toby.

Toby was allegedly attacked in his home for assisting in the enforcement of a revenue collection suspension in Ikot Akpaobong Market in Mkpat Enin, which led to his death.

When contacted by our correspondent, the Akwa Ibom State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP. Odiko Macdon, said the police are currently investigating the matter as some suspects have so far been apprehended over the killing of the tax agent.

A major kingpin fingered in the recent violence in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area, which has led to the loss of one life, Akanimo Ikpe, has recanted his earlier position, confessing that he is not a revenue agent for the local government.

Recall that the new Mkpat Enin Transition Committee leadership, led by Hon. Mercy Bassey on assumption of office in early December 2023, had dissolved all standing committees in the LGA and subsequently declared tax holidays for all markets in the area.

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However, on December 23, 2023, some thugs, allegedly led by Akanimo Ikpe, who himself has been acting as a self-styled revenue agent for Samruf Technical Services for the past few years, stormed the two main markets, Ukam and Akpudo, to sell illegal tickets. The action of Akanimo Ikpe and his hooligans was reportedly met with stiff resistance by the youths of the community.

 Later that night, a prominent youth in Ikot Akpabong, where Akpudo Market is located, and one of the leading enforcers of the tax holiday, Samuel Monday Toby, was murdered in cold blood at his house, in front of his wife and children.

According to community sources, the assailants were said to be allegedly working on the orders of Akanimo Ikpe and the Village Head of Ikot Akpabong, Eteidung Aniefiok Udom, who is now at large as one of the prime suspects in the case.

A few days prior, Mr. Ikpe, who was undoubtedly aware of the gravity of his role in the heinous atrocities, stirred controversy by attempting to drag the Chairman of the Transition Committee into the tragic chaos in a news release.

However, a counterrelease signed by the Secretary of Council, Pastor Afia Amos, and another signed by the Dean of Supervisors, Mkpat Enin, Barr. Daniel Hilary, have absolved Hon. Bassey of any wrongdoings or involvement and placed the issue in the proper light for the public.

In leaked audio making the rounds on social media, Akanimo Ikpe was heard saying on a phone call to a journalist that he has never been a revenue agent for the local government area. The audio is generating widespread outrage, with many questioning his earlier grandstanding as Transition Committee Chairman in his press release, as if he has ever been contracted by the Council on Revenue.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Gift Samuel Monday, wife of the late Samuel Monday Toby, has written a petition to the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police.

In the petition dated December 29, 2023, Mrs. Monday revealed that her husband was killed by armed men, suspected to have been sponsored and instructed by the village head of Ikot Akpaobong, Eteidung Aniefiok Cyril Udom, in cahoots with Akanimo Ikpe, who is said to be a personal assistant to Governor Umo Eno.

According to dependable sources, the State Police Command is following the case diligently. So far, many arrests have been made as the force continues to narrow in on the prime suspects.

The Transition Committee Chairman, Hon. Mercy Bassey, who has enjoyed widespread support by the people and is the Chief Security Officer of the LGA, is said to be cooperating with the security agencies where necessary.

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