Gunmen suspected to be cultists , on Thursday , killed five persons in the Ilile community in the Ohaji / Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State .
The incident , which occurred around 3 am , caused pandemonium in the agrarian community .
A community source, who did not want his name in print , told our correspondent that the victims included a retired police officer , identified simply as Mr Ukpabi ; the immediate past President -General of the community , Napoleon Amadi; a member of the vigilante group in the community , Uwagwu Eze, and two others .
The source said others , who sustained bullets wounds , had been hospitalised.
The gunmen , our correspondent learnt, invaded the victims ’ homes and shot their targets before fleeing.
The source said , “As we speak , five persons have been confirmed dead . Among the dead are a retired police officer , Mr Ukpabi ; the immediate past President -General of our community , Napoleon Amadi; a member of the vigilante group in our community , Uwagwu Eze , and two others.
“Three persons died on the spot, while the two others died in hospitals. Others are lying critically injured in hospitals . The attackers invaded their victims ’ homes around 3 am and shot them . They killed the victims in their houses while they were asleep . It was indeed a tragedy .”
On what led to the killings , the source explained , “It was purely cultism . I don’ t know the names of the warring cults, but the attacks were cult-related . This is indeed too much to bear . I can ’t believe it.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state , Orlando Ikeokwu , said three persons were killed .
Ikeokwu said he could not confirm if the killings were cult- related but noted that the State Commissioner of Police , Rabiu Ladodo, had ordered a thorough investigation into the matter with a view to bringing the killers to justice .
“I can confirm that three persons were killed . But I cannot confirm if the attacks were cult- related , because the assailants came and shot their targets .
The CP has ordered a thorough investigation into the killings with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice ,” the PPRO stated .
Our correspondent recalls that the community has been a battleground for the Dey Gbam and Iceland confraternities for a while .
Copyright PUNCH .