Murder of 77-year-old Itsekiri Community Leader Sparks Tension in Warri


Sylvester Idowu in Warri

There was palpable tension in most of the Itsekiri communities in Delta State tuesday as a prominent community leader, Chief Sandys Omadeli-Uvoh, was allegedly murdered by suspected assassins.

Omadeli-Uvoh, who was 77 years old was said to have been killed at about 5a.m by 10 persons that visited under the guise of being from Ugborodo, an oil rich Itsekiri community in Warri South West Local Government Area of the state.

Family sources told THISDAY that the Septuagenarian might have been killed over his consistent opposition to the mismanagement of royalties from Chevron Nigeria Limited by some people in Ugborodo community.

It was gathered that the suspected assassins walked into his residence, locked up family members including his wife before entering Omadeli-Uvoh’s bedroom to snuff life out of him.
“They killed him, probably by suffocation, and attempted to make it look like a robbery operation. There is no doubt that his murderers had one thing in mind to silence him,” a source close to the late Uvoh said.

Hundreds of Itsekiri people have been trooping to his No.1, Akugbe Street home in Enerhen, near Warri to mourn him.

The oil-rich Itsekiri community, perhaps one of the richest in the country, had been embroiled in leadership tussle over the control of the community’s affairs and by extension multi-billion naira patronage and royalties.

The Delta State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Andrew Aniamaka, confirmed the incident, but said efforts had commenced to track down the perpetrators.
“We have received report of the death of Pa Sandys Omadeli Uvwhoh. He was allegedly murdered at about 5a.m. tuesday by masked suspected hired assassins who attacked his 1 Akugbe Street home in Enerhen, near Warri.

“The DPO, Enerhen Division is already leading a team on the matter before the command gives a detailed report,” he said.