Suspected cultists have killed a member of a rival cult leader in Eke Awka Market in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The incident happened at about 7 a.m. on Wednesday while traders were opening their shops for the day’s business, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
The victim, identified as Igwe Omeli, was said to be a notorious leader of a rival cult group.
Sources told this newspaper that Mr Omeli was often used by some leaders of the market to collect levies.
“He had a disagreement with another cult group and they attacked him. He attempted to escape after calling his gang members, but they didn’t show up on time,” a bus conductor, who claimed to be a witness, said.
“They cut off his head, mutilated his body and left the place with the head,” he added.
The incident was said to have thrown traders in the market into confusion as many closed their shops abruptly for fear of reprisal attack.
When contacted on Wednesday evening, the police spokesperson in Anambra State, Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the incident to PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr Ikenga, a deputy superintendent of police, said police operatives had taken over the scene of the attack, adding that preliminary information showed that what happened was a “cult-related” attack.
“Also, some witnesses of the incident have provided more information that is helping ongoing operations aimed at uncovering the perpetrators,” he said.
The police spokesperson did not confirm that the attackers left with the head of the slain rival cult leader.
Not the first
Cult clashes and killings are not new in Anambra State.
In January, for instance, at least five people were killed in separate cult-related attacks in Okpuno Community, Awka South and Obosi Community in Idemili North Local Government Areas of the state.
Also, suspected cultists killed six persons, in November 2022, in another cult clash in Awka.
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