Gunmen said to be wearing military uniforms have killed a vigilante, Efe Igbnovia, at Obadolovbiyeyi community in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State.
It was learnt that the vigilance group in the area had in the early hours of yesterday arrested some herdsmen for alleged armed robbery on the Benin-Abraka Road.
Igbinovia was directed to watch over the arrested herdsmen while his colleagues conducted a search in the bush for fleeing members of the robbery gang.
But a group of armed men in military uniform stormed the area in a Honfya car with registration number AP 641 KTN, and shot Igbinovia to death.
The gunmen also set free the herdsmen in the process. Two of the gunmen were later arrested by the police.
Following Igbinovia’s death, some angry youths prevented a commercial bus conveying two of the herdsmen earlier arrested to the Benin Central Hospital for medical treatment.
Men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) later intervened in the matter.
One of the youth, Henry Osemwengie, said the vigilantes had earlier arrested about six herdsmen for robbery and took them to the Ogbekun Police Station.
He said: “Two of the herdsmen were caught. Igbinovia was asked to stay. 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 putting on military uniforms and AK47 rifles came and started shooting.
“Igbinovia shouted that he had been shot. When the other vigilantes came back, they discovered that Igbinovia was already down. The armed men killed him and went away with two robbers. Robbers, most of whom are Hausa, usually operate there. They keep their cows by the side, block the road and start robbing.”
When contacted, the spokesperson for the 4 Brigade Command of the Nigerian Army, Capt. Mohammed Maidawa, said that he would issue a statement on the matter.
But at the time of this report, the command was yet to issue the statement.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo, confirmed the incident.
He said: “The herdsmen were alleged to have blocked the expressway. Two of them are with the police undergoing interrogation.
On the alleged killing of the vigilante, Kokumo said: “That is an allegation we are investigating. Actually, one of the vigilance members died in the course of duty.”
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