Unknown gunmen disrupt burial ceremony, kill 20 in Anambra
About 20 persons have been reported killed during a burial ceremony in Umuogbuefi village, Ebenebe, Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State, when armed men suspected to be members of a secret cult invaded the ceremony.
Information has it that the burial ceremony was that of a suspected leader of a cult, Ozo who was killed by a rival cult last year.
News Express learnt that the suspected cult gang stormed the venue of the ceremony while the corpse of Ozo was lying in state in his compound and sent the mourners scampering for safety, while shooting at them.
According to one native of Ebenebe, he said he was invited to the burial ceremony but forgot about it and failed to attend.
“I thank God I forgot the burial ceremony, otherwise I would have been there when the shooting took place. Who knows what would have happened. God has a way if saving people.”
A source also said her sister was saved from being among the by God following disappointment by the person that was to take her and friends to the event.
She said: “My sister was supposed to be at the burial. She and her friends had already prepared to leave Awka for Ebenebe, but the vehicle they booked to take them disappointed them.
“She and her friends were so unhappy, and they decided to go in search of another vehicle that can take them. It was in the course of going to the burial that they received a phone call that everybody at the burial had been dispersed by some gunmen.
“She also got a video from the scene, which showed several persons lying in the pool of their own blood dead, while the corpse was desecrated, with its coffin lying far apart, while the corpse was sprawled on the ground.”
Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, said that it was a case of cult rivalry.
He said: “Yes, this morning (Saturday), there was an incident at Ebenebe. A burial was going on, when some people suspected to be cultists invaded the area and started shooting.
“I do not have details of casualties now, but I will keep you informed once the picture becomes clear.
“For now, the Commissioner of Police, CP Echeng Echeng has despatched tactical squads comprising of various units to the area to maintain calm.