Warri chief arrested for ‘abduction, murder’ in Edo

A member of the Warri Council of Chiefs, Johnson Atseleghe, has been arrested by the Edo Police Command over alleged abduction and murder of one Sunny Etchie, a youth leader of oil-rich KoloKolo community in the state.

The Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Nwabuzor Chidi, confirmed the arrest via telephone to The Nation.

He said, “Well, I don’t know of any Warri chief. I only know of Chief Johnson Atseleghe. Yes, he’s arrested and he is under investigation. The victim is one Sunny Etchie”.

Chief Atseleghe, the Iyatsere of Warri Kingdom, was embroiled in the March crisis between the Binis and Itsekiris in Ologbo community, Edo state.

Several persons on both sides reportedly lost their lives in the conflict.

Details surrounding the kidnap and murder of Etchie, who is an Itsekiri indigene, were not clear as of press time.

It was however, gathered that recent development may be linked to leadership tussle for the oil bearing KoloKolo community.

Speaking on the arrest, a member of the Warri royal family, Prince Yemi Emiko, explained that the issue revolves around “oil” politicking.

Emiko while positing that the Police may have been “compromised,” stated that Chief Atseleghe was invited by the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police in Benin and as a responsible citizen, he honoured the invite.

“They now detained him that he kidnapped and killed somebody. If you’ve been following the issues there, you will know that it is not a case of kidnapping and killing. Even some of our own people were killed there. About three or four Itsekiris.

“There are some communities around there like Ajamogha, Ajoki that are oil producing. Off course, Ologbo is in Edo State, but that does not give the Bini people the right over the land because Ologbo is an Itsekiri Community. They (Itsekiri) have been there from time immemorial.

“We have lived in mutual respect and understanding with the Bini. We are not in any contention with them. But recently, one young boy was brought there as the Enogie. His father used to be Enogie, Prince Akenzua. And throughout Prince Akenzua’s tenure, we all lived in peace.

“But they brought this young man and are going about trying to rewrite history. Our people led by the Ologbotsere have gone there himself to go and meet with the AIG. Let him tell us how the man kidnapped and killed anybody. It’s terrible.”

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