Armed ViolenceNews

Youth Protest Insecurity As Slain Nasarawa APC Chairman Is Buried

The remains of the slain chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nasarawa, Philip Shewko, have been buried in his home in Yelwa, Toto Local Government Area of the state, amidst protest by the youths in the area. 

Shewko had been assassinated by suspected kidnappers in Lafia, the state capital, and his body found close to his residence on November 22, a day after he was declared missing.

HumAngle learnt that young residents of the community came out in large numbers as early as 7:00 am and marched along the Keffi Toto road when the corpse arrived Yelwa from the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi.

The protesting youth carried placards with inscriptions such as “When Will These Killings End?” “Enough Of The Bloodshed,” and “We Want The Killers Of Our Leader Fished Out Immediately Among Others”. 

Following some level of calm in the area, the state governor Abdullahi Sule, represented by his deputy, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, addressed the crowd of sympathisers. He said the state government would not rest on its oars until killers of the APC chieftain were fished out and made to face justice.

The wife of the late APC Chairman, Grace Philip, recalled how her husband was forcefully abducted and gruesomely killed. She said it was an experience she would find hard to forget. 

The President, Benue–Nasarawa Baptist Convention, Reverend Bulus Ali, described the kidnap and murder of Shekwo in a sermon as a wakeup call for the government at all levels to redouble their efforts towards addressing insecurity in the country.

HumAngle gathered that Shekwo’s body was found a few metres from his personal residence in the Bukan Sidi area of Lafia.

The state Commissioner of Police, Bola Longe, said while addressing journalists that the body of late party chieftain was found with bullet wounds. He said the assailants came in large numbers, forced their way into Shekwo’s residence around 11:00 pm and took him out only to kill him later without demanding for a ransom.

Longe said the circumstance surrounding the murder was an indication that it was an assassination and not a case of kidnap. 

“The intensity of bullet marks on the wall of the house and the forceful gaining of entrance into the house proved that it was much more than kidnapping,” he noted.

“And when we found his body near his house, normally when kidnapping is carried out, it is for profit-making. But this has shown that within a twinkle of an eye the man was killed, no demand was made whatsoever.

“I believe it was an assassination. But that notwithstanding, we are going to carry out an exhaustive investigation that will give us a clue to what happened. But for now, I believe it was an assassination,” he added.  

Meanwhile, the military has carried out an operation killing three persons and arresting nine others over the murder of the APC chairman. The state governor said in a tweet that the military operatives recovered four AK47 from the suspects.  

In a related development, police in Nasarawa have arrested a 27-year-old man, Cephas Iliya, for the alleged killing of a Deputy Chief Auditor in the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Martins Omeri. 

According to a statement by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, ASP Ramhan Nansel, the suspect confessed to the crime and said he sneaked into the house of the deceased at Navy Estate, Karshi in Karu Local Government Area of the State in the dead of the night and killed him using a log of wood. 

The police spokesperson explained that the suspect had worked with the deceased as a house help. He urged residents of the state to carry out a close background check on people they engaged as domestic staff. 

He further noted that the commissioner of police had directed that the case be transferred to the State Criminal and Investigation Department in Lafia for a thorough investigation after which the suspect would be charged to court.

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