A 31-year-old suspect, Asuquo Okon, has revealed why he killed six people in a communal clash between residents of Edere and Ediedom communities in Odupkani Local Government Area of Cross Rivers State over a land dispute which degenerated into arms conflicts. Okon was arrested by operatives of the Force Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
Okon, a father of three, disclosed that he took to killing to avenge the death of his mother and uncle, who were killed when his community was attacked. He said: “My community is Mdaibo Edere.
We have been fighting with the people from Ediedom village over a parcel of land. Ediedom people attacked my community first, killing my mother and uncle. They also killed seven other people. They then burnt down houses. Our community people contributed money and asked us to buy arms and ammunition so that we can arm ourselves and defend our community from further attacks.
He was arrested along with his second-in-command, Asuquo Edem, at Rupkani area of the state. They had gone to buy AK47 ammunition from a gunrunner who was already in police custody.
A Toyota Camry car said to be the gang’s operational vehicle, and a mobile phone containing videos of killings and dismembering of human bodies were recovered from the suspects. The suspects allegedly confessed that they contacted the gunrunner to supply them with the ammunition because they were running low on their stockpile.
They further confessed to having an AK47 rifle, which they bought for N500,000 and a pump-action which they had been using in the clashes. The police said: “The clashes in the communities were over a land dispute which degenerated into arms conflicts. Okon alleged that people from the Ediedom community first attacked his own community, leading members of his community to embark on a reprisal.”
I bought an AK47 rifle at the rate of N500,000 and I had killed six people with it. I shot them on their heads after I kidnapped them. This is in retaliation for the killing of my mother and my uncle. We don’t use it to kill women in our operations, it is forbidden. I wasn’t the person who butchered the dead in the video on my phone.
But I was present at the scene where it happened and so I recorded it. I didn’t know that the police had arrested my arms’ supplier. I contacted him that I needed some ammunition. He lured me to the Rupkani area of Cross Rivers, where my second-in-command and I were arrested.”