UGHELLI — SOLDIERS, yesterday, laid siege to Okpara community in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State and allegedly killed two persons, including Phillip Ekeh, who won silver medal for Delta State at the last National Sports Festival, held in Lagos.
Vanguard gathered that eight other persons were injured in the raid said to have been carried out by the Joint Military Task Force.
There was confusion in the community because of the incident, but it was not clear why soldiers invaded the community. A source, however, hinted that youths purportedly killed two soldiers, last Friday, and the JTF was in search of the killers.
However, Vanguard could not corroborate the information on alleged killing of soldiers from military sources, yesterday.
The Ekeh family and sympathizers marched to the Ethiope East Local Government Council, yesterday, to protest the killing of the sportsman.
Speaking to reporters at Isiokolo after the protest, elder brother of one of the deceased persons, Mr. Equity Ekeh alleged that the Okpara community had been under military siege.
He said his younger brother, Philip Ekeh, was shot few metres away from their family house while he was returning from an outing, adding that he was a cyclist in the Delta State Sports Council.
According to him, the deceased, who was resident in Asaba came home for the weekend, only for him to be killed.
His words, “The 10 were shot at different spots in the community, their motorcycles are still lying at the spots where they were shot. Of the 10, two died and my own younger brother happened to be one of them.”
Ekeh who was in tears further asserted, “We looked for my brother everywhere all night to no avail. As I was coming from Kokori at about 8.00 am, this morning (yesterday), I saw two military pickups pulled over opposite the local government council secretariat and two corpses were dropped at the cenotaph.”
“Only for me to go close to discover that my brother was among the two corpses dropped by the soldiers, he added,” On the identity of the other corpse, he said, “I don’t know the other person.”
Addressing the protesters, the council chairman, Chief Sunday Onoriode, appealed to them to hold their peace, saying that the matter was being handled.
According to him, “I am meeting with men of the JTF, the police and the SSS in my office at 2.00 pm.”
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