Youth in Amorie village in Ozizza community of Afikpo North local government area of the state attacked and killed a middle-aged man, Monday, Ali Agha, police said.
The man was attacked as he tried to help his brother who had been cornered by the rampaging locals.
“He was killed when he went to rescue his brother, Agha Pius Okpara, from the youth who wanted to collect a fine of N2,000 from him for not participating in communal labour,” a witness said.
Witnesses said the victim was contacted on phone by his brother, Okpara, to come to his rescue. But on his arrival, an argument ensued which later degenerated into a squabble.
“The victim was alleged to have slapped one of the youth with the side of his cutlass and in reaction, the angry youth overpowered him; took the cutlass and butchered him with the machete,” the witness said.
As a result of the incident, the youth and elders of the affected village were said to have deserted the area for fear of arrest, as some fled to neighbouring communities in Cross River state.
Reacting to the incident, police spokesman, George Okafor, a deputy superintendent of police who confirmed the incident, noted that some police officers were dispatched immediately to the area to maintain law and order.
According to him, the body of the deceased had been recovered and deposited in a morgue for autopsy.
“Arrest have been made and those arrested so far have started giving the police useful information that will lead to the apprehension of all the suspects. Peace has been restored to the village and we are monitoring the situation.
“Those presently on the run won’t run for long, I can assure you that we are going to get them,” he said.
Meanwhile, the elders and leaders of Ozizza community in an emergency meeting described the killing of the victim as barbaric.
Also, the member representing Afikpo North West constituency at Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Kingsley Ikoro, appealed for calm in the area. He said that stakeholders of Ozizza and the police had already waded into the incident to ensure the restoration of peace in Amorie community.