Published: January 26, 2019
By: Alexander Okere – Punch, Nigeria
Tragedy struck in the Ogere Remo area of Ogun State when some assailants, suspected to be ritual killers, hacked a 41-year-old farmer, one Fidelis Ikpechi, to death.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that the suspects also made away with the victim’s head and some parts of his intestines, after killing him on his cassava farm.
It was learnt that Ikpechi, who hailed from the Obi Local Government Area of Benue State, was on his farm around 4pm on Thursday when the incident happened.
His body was said to have been found in a sack on the street on Friday morning.
The elder brother of the deceased, Mr Adikpe Sunday, said Ikpechi had relocated to Ogere Remo in search of greener pastures about seven years ago.
“I brought him (Ikpechi) to Ogere from Abeokuta about seven years ago. I felt the farming he was doing there (Abeokuta) was too stressful and I wanted to get him a job. When he got to Ogere, he worked for about two years with a company but he later went back to farming. Maybe he felt the money was not enough,” Sunday explained.
The Secretary of Igede community, Mr Michael Ekirigwe, who bemoaned the gruesome killing of the father of three, stated that the incident had instilled fear in members of the community.
Ekirigwe said, “We are saddened by the dastardly killing of one of us. In fact, we are very pained that a man quietly working on his farm not too far away from his house could be brutally killed like an animal.
“What then is the fate of those whose farms are very far from the town? Since this unfortunate incident happened, our people, who are mainly farmers as typical of Benue State indigenes, now live in fear.
“Our business is in the bush. We can’t go to farms again. We plead with the governor of the state, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, and the police authorities to please come to our aid and ensure that those found complicit in this criminal act are punished according to the dictates of the law.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Abimbola Oyeyemi, who confirmed the killing, said that the case had been transferred to the homicide unit of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department.
Oyeyemi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said, “Yes, we have the report because the brother of the deceased lodged the complaint at the Ogere Police Station. He said the deceased went to farm and after a day or two, he didn’t come back. When they (relatives) went out to look for him, they discovered his dismembered body.
The police have been on the case since that time. We are still conducting our investigation. By the grace of God, we believe we will get the assailants.”