One person was confirmed dead, houses burnt and no fewer than 19 persons arrested, as violence erupted at the Imo State Governor’s country home, Ogboko.
Commuters were stranded as traffic was held up for hours at the Ogboko axis of the busy Orlu-Mgbe-Urualla-Osina Road that leads to Anambra State.
Confirming the incident in a telephone conversation with Vanguard yesterday, the state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chris Ezike, said: “One person died and three houses, including the community’s town hall, were burnt. It must be said that only the roof of the town hall was affected by the fire. We have arrested 19 suspects in connection with the incident.
“The identifiable crimes in this incident are murder and arson and they are serious crimes.”
While saying that they have commenced grilling of the suspects with a view to ascertaining who played what role in the incident, the CP was, however, of the view that the murder of a young man in the area sparked off the reprisal attack.
He said: “The first noticeable crime was the murder of a young man. This resulted to arson. Those who went on reprisal attack should have restrained themselves, especially when they knew that the police had waded into the matter.”
Meanwhile, the story making the rounds in the area yesterday was that youths apprehended a suspected criminal, who died from beating he received from a mob.
A villager, who claimed to be an eyewitness but pleaded anonymity, said: “Trouble started soon after somebody identified the victim of the mob action as a member of his village.”