Soldiers ‘mistakenly’ kill vigilante, allegedly free suspected herdsmen apprehended for robbery in Edo

Soldiers ‘mistakenly’ kill vigilante, allegedly free suspected herdsmen apprehended for robbery in Edo

- A member of vigilante group who apprehended some herdsmen for alleged robbery have been reportedly shot dead

- The deceased was reportedly shot by men in military uniforms suspected to be soldiers

- The spokesman for 4 Brigade Command, Edo state, confirmed the incident, saying the soldiers ‘mistakenly’ killed the member of the vigilante group

A member of a vigilante group at Obadolovbiyeyi community in Ikpoba-Okha local government of Edo state, Efe Igbinovia, has been reportedly shot dead by soldiers.

The Nation reports that the soldiers were alleged to have released suspected herdsmen apprehended for alleged robbery by the vigilante group. gathered that eyewitnesses said members of the vigilante group had apprehended suspected herdsmen for alleged robbery on the Benin-Abraka Expressway and the deceased was asked to stay with them, while other members searched for fleeing herdsmen.

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They said armed men in military uniforms arrived in a Honda car, marked AP 641 KTN, shot dead Igbinovia and released the suspected herdsmen.

A resident identified as Henry Osemwengie said: “Two of the herdsmen were caught. Igbinovia was asked to stay with them. Before then, the police had been called to come and pick them (herdsmen) because that is what we normally do. Suddenly, a red Honda car with about four of them wearing military uniforms, arrived, carrying AK47 rifles. They started shooting.

“Igbinovia shouted that he had been shot. When the other vigilance group members returned, they discovered that Igbinovia had been shot dead. The armed men went away with two herdsmen. Robbers, most of who are Hausa, usually operate there. They keep their cows by the side, block the road and rob people.”

The deceased’s cousin, Onaghise Wilson, said his brother was allegedly shot dead by men in military uniforms, adding that they took the arrested herdsmen to the hospital for treatment.

The commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Makinde Iskil, said some people have been apprehended.

The Edo state police commissioner, Johnson Kokumo, reportedly confirmed the incident.

He said: “The herdsmen were accused of blocking the expressway. Two of them are with the police undergoing interrogation.”

On the alleged killing of a vigilance group member by men in military uniforms, Kokumo said: “This is an allegation we are investigating. Actually, one of the vigilance group members died on duty.”

However, the spokesman for 4 Brigade Command, Capt. Mohammed Maidawa, said the troops sent to Ologbo for pipeline protection received a tip-off from the residents about a robbery.

He said the troops mobilised to the scene and engaged armed men in a shootout, adding that unfortunately, one person identified as a member of the vigilante group, was mistakenly killed.

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He said: “Preliminary investigation showed that the vigilance group also responded to a distress call about the robbery. Members of the group protested the incident, but the situation has been brought under control.” previously reported that more than 100 acres of mangoes and pineapple plantations were reportedly set ablaze in Esa Oke of Obokun east local council development area of Osun state by suspected herdsmen.

Some of the farmers, who spoke to newsmen, said they had lost millions of naira due to the herders’ destructive activities.

The victims called on Governor Rauf Aregbesola that leased the farmlands to them at Esa Oke farm settlement to come to their aid in curbing the destruction of their crops, which they claimed serve as their sources of livelihood.

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