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Delta Killing: 17 Military Personnel Were Not Killed In Okuama-Ewu – Community Leaders Make Fresh Claim

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Delta Killing: 17 Military Personnel Were Not Killed In Okuama-Ewu - Community Leaders Make Fresh Claim

Community leaders of Okuama-Ewu in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State have rejected reports that 17 military personnel who lost their lives during an ambush attack on March 14 were killed in their community.

The Okuama-Ewu community leaders, however, said the slain soldiers were killed along the Forcados River while returning to their military base in Bomadi, Bomadi Local Government Area.

This position was made known by the Secretary-General of the Okuama-Ewu community, Bernard Esegba, in a supporting affidavit to the N151 billion suit the people filed against the Federal Government, Attorney-General of the Federation, and Armed Forces of the Federation, Chief of Defence Staff, Nigerian Police and Commissioner of Police, Delta State at the Federal High Court in Warri.

He said that the military held a meeting with Okuama community leaders on March 14 and demanded that the community chairman and other leaders follow them to their base at Bomadi in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State immediately.

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But Esegba, in the affidavit, said at that point, community leaders politely appealed to the military personnel to kindly permit their leaders to come by themselves to the prime respondent’s base at Bomadi.

He added that it was in the process that some over-zealous personnel of the military began shooting sporadically, during which some community elders and leaders were shot dead, while others were seriously injured.

The affidavit claimed that when the personnel sensed that the atmosphere at the Okuama Town Hall had become very tense, on March 14, 2024, they left the community in a hurry and were not attacked by any member of our community.

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According to him, it was after leaving the Okuama community that the military personnel were attacked along the Forcados River, and some of them lost their lives.

Esegba stated in the supporting affidavit: “When the personnel of the third respondent got to our Okuama community on March 14, 2024, they were warmly received with our traditional kola nut breaking and wedging ceremony at Okuama community Town Hall by the elders and leaders of our community.

“After the warm reception of the third respondent’s personnel by our community elders and leaders, the third respondent’s personnel demanded our community chairman and other leaders of the community, apparently to arrest and forcibly take them to the third respondent’s base at Bomadi in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State.

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“At that point, our community leaders politely appealed to the third respondent’s personnel to kindly permit our community leaders to come by themselves to the prime respondent’s base at Bomadi.

“Instead of acceding to the polite request of our community elders and leaders, the third respondent’s personnel insisted that they go with our community chairman and other leaders.

“In the process, some over-zealous personnel of the third respondent began shooting sporadically during which some of our community elders and leaders were shot dead, while others were seriously injured.

“When the 3rd respondent’s personnel sensed that the atmosphere at the Okuama Town Hall had become very tense, on March 14, 2024, they left the community in a hurry and were not attacked by any member of our community.

“We later discovered that while on their way back to the 3rd respondent’s base at Bomadi, the 3rd respondent’s personnel were attacked along the Forcados River during which about seventeen (17) personnel of the third respondent were killed.
“Following the killing of the said personnel of the third respondent along the Forcados River while they were returning from our Okuama community to their base at Bomadi, the fifth respondent ordered an attack on our community (Okuama) from March 15, 2024, to about March 25, 2024.

“The third and fifth respondents’ personnel invaded our community and assaulted, battered, maimed, shelled, shot and cold-bloodedly murdered unarmed and defenceless members of our community and destroyed our properties.”

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