By David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Unknown gunmen numbering over 20, Thursday afternoon invaded New City Atoji Housing Estate, Nkwelle Ezunaka, Oyi Local Government Area, Anambra State, killing a security guard and forced the residents to flee the area.
The gunmen, who were suspected to be youths of Nkwelle Ezunaka, wounded another security guard.
An eye witness told journalists that the gunmen on entering the estate went after its security men numbering seven, shooting at them, and succeeded in killing one.
The eyewitness said one of the security men identified as Friday Atta was found lifeless after the invading gunmen had left, with bullets wounds, while another security man, Uche Kalu, was found totally crippled by bullets in his legs and waist.
He said: “This place was like a war zone moments ago, the gunmen came with assorted types of gun. I could see from where I was hiding an AK 47 riffle and the security men were not armed because they have been told not to carry guns. We are in trouble in this estate, I could not count the number of wounded people, but I’m sure they were over 20 and this is not the first time gunmen are attacking us in this place.”
Chairman of the estate, Mr. Uche Okeke, who was at 33 Police Station, Onitsha to make a formal report, told journalists that the invasion was the third time their security men have been killed and residents of the area sacked.
He said: “I was in my office around 2pm, when our security commander called me and told me that youths from Osile Ogbunike invaded the estate and ambushed them killing one of them and we have reported the matter to 3-3 police station.
“We have been living in fear since we started moving into our estate. We bought the land from Umuonuorah Amuche Village in Nkwelle Ezunaka but since 2014 and 2015, the youths of Osile have been disturbing us, saying that they own the land. We met our landlords and they showed the judgment of the Supreme Court cases over the land in their favour, and said if anybody is laying claims to the land they should come to them instead of harassing us.
“In 2016, commander of our security outfit, Mr. Sunday, was abducted and killed and till date, nobody saw his corpse, another security man, David, was lured with a girl to a drinking bar and was killed and the matter was reported to Ogidi police station but nothing came out of the matter.
“We have written petition through our lawyer to the successive and present commissioner of police in the state over these killings and harassment and yet the youths have been acting as if they are above the law. We know most of them and they are staying to excavate sand and stone near Onitsha Enugu express way area of Ogbunike.
“We are appealing to the Inspector General of Police (IG) to prevail on the Anambra State Police Command to arrest the perpetrators of these killings and to bring them to book. We are not safe in the estate, we have lost over N500 million on property and building materials to these hoodlums.”
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Anambra State, Mr. Mohammed Haruna, however said he has not been informed of the attack.
He promised to call the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of 3-3 Police Station for more information about the incident.