Monarchs and people of Ikot Omin Community in Calabar Municipality have cried for justice following the assassination of the village head of Ikot Abenyo community, Ntufam Ekong Itu Omin.
Omin was assassinated on 26 February this year and some suspects are now in police net in connection with the incident. He was murdered just when he was scheduled barely 48 hours before he was to give more evidence to the police against one of the community leaders.
Consequently, monarchs and people in the community have called on the state Commissioner of Police Mr. Hafiz Inuwa, to prosecute the suspects so that justice could be served ultimately.
Counsel to the community, Ayei Okpa, who spoke on behalf of the community on the issue, said the police should immediately prosecute the suspects while intensifying efforts to arrest others still at large.
He commended the police for the swift manner they went about arresting the suspects in connection with the dastardly act.
Okpa told journalists in Calabar that “it was a stroke of fate the uncovering of the suspected murderers of Ntufam Ekong Itu Omin. It was a byproduct of investigations launched by the state Police Command into recent secret cult clashes within the Calabar metropolis.
”Ikot Omin community has, for some time now, been held down by ferocious behemoth which manifested as a nest of assassins wrestling for the control of the community's resources and stool.
“This evil group has foisted an orgy of unprovoked violence and bloodletting on the community and held the community to its tenterhooks.”
Okpa also said that “now that some of the suspects have started making useful statements to the police and even confessed the role played by a community leader, one Chief Asuquo Ekpenyong, and community youth leader, Edim Edim, the police should investigate further the connection between the evidence sought to be given in court by Omin on Tuesday, February 27,2018 against Ekpenyong.
Counsel to the community however maintained that the traditional ruler was murdered by assailants as he was scheduled to report at the office of the Inspector General of police IGP monitoring squad in Abuja on February 28, 2018 to testify in an on-going investigation over an alleged case of forgery of certificate of recognition he reported against Ekpenyong.
“He was in IGP'S office on the 20th, 21st, and 22nd over the investigations and returned to Calabar on the 23rd February 2018 and was murdered in a bizarre and most cruel circumstance on February 26, just two days before he was supposed to return to the IGP's office to provide additional evidence in the forgery investigation against Chief Asuquo Ekpenyong,” Okpa said.
The community also wants the police to investigate the alleged involvement of the suspects now under their custody in the assassination of the then clan secretary, Chief Omin Omin last year and the assassination attempt on the life of Prince Edim Omin Edim last year in a similar circumstance just as the gruesome murder of Ntufam Ekong Itu Omin.
They said following the arrest of the suspects which made their alleged accomplices going underground, peace that had eluded the community, has gradually returned as the community's night life is gradually bouncing back.
“While from the confession volunteered by a key suspect in the aforesaid murders, it has now been made public that certain sums exchanged hands between the masterminds and assassins for hire of services, it will not suffice to stop at that without intensifying efforts to ensure the arrest and prosecution of suspected collaborators like Saviour Bassey Etim, Edet Omin, Bassey Etim Omin, Ekpo Asuquo, Koko Usang who had all been implicated and mentioned in the murders,” Okpa told journalists.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Cross River State Command, Irene Ugbo, said the police were doing everything to ensure that suspects involved in the matter as well as all other suspects involved in criminal matters were properly investigated and prosecuted by the law of the land.