Suspected bandits behead court staff in Kogi

It was a tale of horror and anguish in Bagana in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State on Monday as the beheaded body of a court staff was found on his farm.

It was gathered that the deceased, Suleiman Abdulkareem who is a security guard with Upper Area Court in the town met his death when he went to his farm, where unknown attackers hacked him to death and cut off his head.

The locals who said the deceased was an easy-going man, noted that late Abdulkareem went to the farm to harvest some farm produce when he was killed.

The locals added that when the news of his gruesome murder frittered to town, the vigilante and hunters mobilised themselves to the scene, but the assailants had left before they could get to the scene.

The locals who lamented the dastard murder of the deceased told our Correspondent that his murder was one too many as many persons have fallen to the guns and machete of the bandits who often waylay their victims from or to their farms and markets.

Bagana, a village of over 20,000 inhabitants, situated on the bank of River Benue and about fifteen kilometres away from Abejukolo, headquarters of Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State has been severally attacked by bandits and Fulani herdsmen with over 300 deaths and wanton destruction to properties.

According to the locals, this latest murder of a hapless civil servant who was posted to the town to perform his legitimate duty has brought to the fore the lack of security agencies in the town.

They disclosed that about two months ago, a traditional ruler in the village was abducted and killed by yet to be arrested bandits and his lifeless body dumped in his farm.

According to the locals, ” We have been under attack since 2013. The murderers would come to the town, attack us, kill our able-bodied men and burn down the village. This happened in 2015 and 2019. We have lost above 300 persons and almost half of the village has been burnt down.

“As we speak to you, most of our people have relocated to neighbouring states of Nasarawa, Benue and other villages within Kogi State. Some of us who remain sleep with our eyes open, with fear of unexpected attack.

” As we talk to you no single policeman is in the town. After the killing of the Mobile policemen and soldiers, the government withdrew the remaining security men, leaving us to our fate. We are calling on the relevant authorities to return the security personnel to the town to at least give us a sense of protection” They lamented.

In a similar circumstance, a man at Abejukolo had his limb chopped off on his farm by a suspected herder for daring to challenge him for destroying his farm.

The victim is currently on a trauma bed at the General Hospital, Abejukolo, where medical personnel are battling to save his life.

Speaking to our correspondent on phone, the Divisional Police officer DPO of the local Government, DSP John Ogbebor confirmed the two incidents, saying on receipt of the distress call, he drafted his men to the scene, but unfortunately, the perpetrators had left before their arrival.

He added that the police have launched a manhunt for the killers and promised to leave no stone unturned to arrest the perpetrators.

He noted that his men evacuated the corpse from the scene to be deposited in the mortuary, but said the family of the deceased pleaded for the corpse to be released to them for burial which he approved.

He also said a herder who attacked a man on his farm at Iyade in Abejukolo has been arrested and taken to the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Lokoja and he is already giving the police useful information about the incident.

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