Tales of murder, assault at Rivers Commission of Inquiry



Horrific tales of killings as partisan politics pitched brothers against one another were narrated at the Rivers State Commission of Inquiry on violence during the elections which adjourned on Saturday indefinitely, Premium Times reported.

Andrew Onyegbule, a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, from Ipo community in Ikwerre Local Government Area, told about how his elder brother, Kelvin, a member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, shot someone on election day.

While the victim, Ikechi Dimkpa, an APC member, lay bleeding on the ground, his younger brother, Soronnadi, a PDP member, refused to intervene.

“When it became obvious the boy is dead, the family ran to the police. Everybody was on the run and they (police) couldn’t arrest anybody,” said Mr. Onyegbule.

Mr. Onyegbule admitted that there are divisions in his family because of PDP and APC.

Another witness, Fenibo Jack, the Chairman of Akuku-Toru local government area, also testified before the Commission. He said incidents of assault on some APC members in the local government were reported to the police but were not acted upon.

The council boss also said that the attackers boasted by saying that Mr. Danagogo (Tamuno, Minister of Sports), Roland Sekibo, and others were their sponsors

“In my capacity as the leader of the party (APC) in my local government, all these things were reported to me,” said Mr. Jack.

“And as council chairman, I witnessed some of these acts.

“Before the election, we uncovered a plot by the PDP to consistently use the police to intimidate and arrest staunch members of the APC and detain them before the election on trumped up charges.”

Mr. Jack said that the people arrested in connection with the attack, including one Diepriye Briggs and Christian Don-Pedro, were released “immediately after” the election.

According to Mr. Jack, on election day, the Commissioner for Urban Development and the Police DPO of Abonema (who was escorting him) were beaten up at the polling unit.

“The previous DPO was changed at around midnight and so the attackers did not know he was the DPO,” he said.

“They thought the DPO was escorting the Commissioner as his aide, they didn’t know he was the DPO.”

The Commission of Inquiry, instituted by Governor Rotimi Amaechi, is probing politically-motivated killings and destruction of property before and during the 2015 election.

At the Commission’s inaugural sitting on May 4, Patience Adube narrated how her husband, Christopher, was killed at their home in Obrikom, ONELGA (Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government area).

Mr. Adube, a former Caretaker Chairman of the local government, and his three sons were shot to death on April 3rd.

His son-in-law, Ikechukwu, and one of his security men were also fatally shot as gunmen invaded his residence.

“I want them to find those people that killed my husband,” Patience Adube told the Commission.

“Fight those people that sent them because many of them threatened my husband that they will kill him. And they have killed my husband, let them fight them.

“Let them help us, because me and my mates and our family are helpless, let government help us and find them. Because they said they will take power by force and they have already done that by killing my husband and our children.”

Patience’s co-wife, Precious Adube, the mother of the three children killed, also appeared before the Commission.

Joy, 25; John, 22; and Lucky, who had just sat for the Senior School Certificate Examination were all shot to death alongside their father.

“I have nothing left. All my children are dead,” said Precious who said she had gone to visit her grandchildren in the village when she heard gunshots and ran back to the house.

“I ran back to the house and saw everybody dead.”

Another witness, Anthony Ogarabe, a brother to the late Ikechukwu, said that he was in the village on the day of the incident.

“I was in our compound until about 7.30 p.m. when I left the house. I was told that his (Ikechukwu’s) friend, Silver, asked him out to Chief Adube’s house,” Mr. Ogarabe said.

“From where I had gone to, I heard gunshot which made me run back to our house. When I arrived home, I then called my brother to know his whereabouts but received no response from his phone.

“His friend Silver then called me back to say that Adube and my brother Iyke were shot dead while ago.

“I then ran to Adube’s house and I met him in a bath in the toilet with his son, dead. My brother Iyke and Joy Adube also lay down dead close to the toilet.

“I shouted and cried but later organised some boys who brought them out. Someone then advised me to boil water to clean their bodies. I used heater to heat water, took them to the backyard. We used knife to tear off the cloth on their bodies because the blood was thickly gummed to them. We later took them to the mortuary.”

Despite mentioning the names of those behind the attack, Mr. Ogarabe said that no one had been arrested after the incident.

Several witnesses from ONELGA who testified during the week-long sitting of the Commission fingered Felix Obuah, the PDP Chairman in the state, as being responsible for the attacks.

Efforts by PREMIUM TIMES to contact Mr. Obuah, who is from ONELGA, were not successful.

Phone calls were not picked and text messages to him were not replied.

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