The chairman of Ado local government area of Benue State, James Oche, has said the renewed crisis between Effium and Ezza communities in Benue and Ebonyi states had claimed over 30 lives.
This was contained in a letter addressed to the Benue State government where he highlighted the activities of criminals terrorising the state, including the renewed hostilities within Effium and Ezza communities.
This is even as the special adviser to the governor on security, Lt. Col. Paul Hembah who confirmed the killings said over 30 people were killed at the boundary between Benue and Ebonyi in Ado LGA of Benue State.
According to him, the killings were carried out a few days ago, and security agents have been drafted to the area to avoid further killings.
Oche in the letter said the Ado members of the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards had achieved commendable success with the arrest of persons suspected to have masterminded the killings.
He maintained that one of the arrested suspects identified as Williams Epe, aside resisting arrest, tried to physically assault one of the BSCVGs but he was overpowered and arrested.
The letter reads in part, “Information at my disposal revealed that on 12th of November, 2022, the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards who since the ugly incident have intensified efforts in information and intelligence gathering rounded off a group of criminal masterminds wanted in connection with the killings in Ado and other forms of criminality in Benue State.”
Three of the criminals said to be in possession of 2 AK 47 rifles on suspecting the presence of the volunteer guards attempted to escape but two out of the three were overpowered and arrested while the other is at large.
Oche named those arrested to include Williams Okefie Epe and Patrick Ezza, adding that one of the suspects identified as Gideon Unazi is at large.
According to him, the volunteer guards have since handed them over to the Ado Divisional Office of the Nigeria Police for further investigation while intensifying efforts to arrest Unazi whom he said has a track record of criminality and was once declared wanted by the Ado local government, and was on the wanted list of the police.