Unknown gunmen murder sleeping Benue monarch

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Chief Stephen Ochekwu, District Head of Edikwu community in Apa Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue state, has been killed in his sleep by unknown gunmen.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, SP Catherine Anene confirmed the killing of the traditional ruler in a statement.

According to the statement, Ochekwu was shot at his residence where he had been living on self imposed exile in Ugbokpo, the Apa LG Headquarters.

“On December 31, 2021 at about 12:45am an information was received that Chief Stephen Ada Ochekwu of Ukpogo Edikwu village, Apa LGA of Benue state, but resident in Ugbokpo town and a Chief of Edikwu community who was suspended and recently reinstated by Benue state government over a Chieftaincy crisis in his community was shot on his stomach in his house by unknown persons while asleep.

“The victim was rushed to a nearby hospital before being transferred to Otukpo town for further medical attention.

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“He eventually died at the hospital as a result of the gunshot injury. Investigation in to the matter is in progress.”

It was learnt that before his murder, Ochekwu had been in self-imposed exile in Ugbokpo since 2014 over a prolonged chieftaincy dispute in his community.

In 2020, he was suspended from his post by the Benue State Government over the protracted crisis in the community and reinstated recently.

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