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New Year’s Eve Murder In Eket

...Killer Gunmen On The Run; Village Head, Youth President Indicted

On December 31, 2021, Obong Otu Jones Otuinyang of Ikot Udoma village in Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State must have had plans for the new year 2022, which was barely few hours away.

 

However, little did he know that he would be gruesomely murdered in the early hours of January 1, 2022.

 

He alongside his wife, Margaret, on the night of December 31, attended church service at Qua Iboe Church, Ikot Udoma, to usher in the new year.

 

At the close of the service, the couple were making their way out of the church when two gunmen who were waiting outside, closed in on them, one pulled out a pistol and fired a single bullet into Obong Otu Inyang’s head. The lone bullet left a gaping hole on both sides of his skull. His huge frame collapsed to the ground. The ground was coloured red by torrents of blood. Pandemonium ensued. Members of church ran helter skelter. Within split seconds, joy of the new year degenerated into sorrow.

 

He was officially pronounced dead in hospital by medical personnel.

 

The deceased family is now demanding justice in the matter.

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While the prime suspects, one Basil Assamudo Sunday and his yet to be known partner are currently on the run, the identity of the second gunman is not yet known.

Apart from the duo, several suspects were arrested by Police but have since been released.

 

The suspects include Chief Sampson Simon Obot, head of the community, who has been accused by the deceased family of threatening severally to kill the Late Otuinyang over land tussle.

 

The land in contention is called Akai Ifuhu. The deceased family lays claim to the land, saying the former Paramount Ruler of Eket Local Government Area, Late Nathaniel Adunghenyi, affirmed to that effect in his ruling in 2013.

 

The family through its Legal representative, Anthony Edu Esq of One Client Chambers further alleged in a petition that the said land was cleared and trespassed into on the instruction of the village head who gave it out as venue for Christmas carnival.

 

The petition disclosed that upon realizing the village head’s action, the Late Otuinyang went to court and obtained an injunction restricting usage of the land until the determination of the matter in court.

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“As the bailiff of Court 2 (in Eket), Mr Friday Simonson went and pasted the Order of the Court on the said land, Ephraim Monday, Youth President, ordered that the notice be removed and tore. Basil Asamudoh Sunday (prime suspect) immediately removed the order in the presence of the court bailiff and promised to kill Snr. Elder Obong Sunday Otuinyang before Christmas or New year is over,” it was claimed.

Village head obong Otuinyang

The petition also alleged “that prior to the murder of Snr. Elder Obong Otuinyang, there has been a serious threat to the life of the deceased and all those who did not support the surreptitious means of emergence of Chief Sampson Simon Obot as the Village Head of Ikot Udoma and acquisition of certificate who never come from the Ruling and Royal family, and obstruction of using the deceased land for Christmas carnival which injunction from the Court was placed on the land.”

 

Another allegation against Chief Obot is that he threatened to kill the deceased at the Eket Divisional Police Station when he (Otuinyang) was summoned by the Police following a petition from the village head that he (Otuinyang) was hoisting the national flag in his residence and parading himself as village head: “The DPO advised both parties to write undertaking to maintain peace in the community which both parties: Chief Obot and Late Snr Elder Obong Otu Jones Otuinyang wrote undertaking there at the the Police Station. Chief Sampson Simon Obot boasted that he will kill late Snr Elder Obong Otu Jones and nothing will happen.”

 

A source, who is a member of the Qua Iboe Church, Ikot Udoma, where the deceased served as Senior Elder, said after the murder incident, two placards were pasted on the church’s fence with the warning that should any action be taken against the village head, Ikot Udoma would not know peace.

The deceased family is alleging that the notices were pasted on the instructions of the village head.

 

Apart from the village head, others, having been freed by police have since furnished Police with their statements. They were invited for an oral interview over the weekend.

Village head murder in Eket

One of the suspects, Kingsley Friday Jacob, is accused of supplying information on the deceased location and movement to the killer gunmen.

 

Others suspects include Peter Alex, Anietie Isaiah Ekong, Paul Alex Edohoeket, Nathaniel Isaiah Ekong, Udo Nkamiang, Bassey Joshua, Godwin Nkamiang, Bassey Akpan Inyang, Lawrence Samuel Otu, Assam Joseph Ekanem, Godwin Iko Uwem, Okon Edohoeket, among others. They are all denying allegations leveled against them.

 

The deceased worked in the oil and gas sector.

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