A young and struggling Keke driver is the latest victim of armed robbery and brutal murder on the bad, lonely and neglected Owerri Industrial layout road.
Okwo Monday Emmanuel, 24, was returning home at about 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 19th, when he was attacked and killed on the “death trap,” a few metres away from his residence. His murderers shot and left him in a pool of blood, carting away his Keke, fleet number 33004.
When contacted, neighbours expressed shock at gruesome murder of Emmanuel who hails from Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State.
“At about 10:30 yesterday, we heard two gunshots very close to our house in the estate. We were worried because he was the only person who had not come back. We called his number five times but he did not answer the phone. It was the sixth time that he picked up and told us to come immediately and take him to the hospital. So, we rushed to the direction of the gunshot, not very far from our house and found him in a pool of blood. We took him to the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, where he died about an hour later.”
Emmanuel’s death has left both residents and workers in the Industrial layout sad, nervous and badly shaken. People are confused, not knowing what to do especially as all the roads leading to and from the Industrial layout are terribly bad, lonely and utterly dangerous.
Emmanuel’s Cousin said he was yet to report the murder and robbery to the police.
There have been several cases of killing, kidnapping, armed robbery, bag snatching and rape at the Industrial layout. The situation in the area has been made worse by the terrible condition of the roads, especially during the rainy season. The Industrial layout is home to such companies and institutions as the Nigeria Bottling Company, makers of Coco Cola soft drink and Eva water, Roche Construction Company, Nigeria Prison Service – Training School, Nigeria Customs and Excise, Immigration Department and Assumpta Press, publisher of The Leader newspaper
There is much fear and trepidation in the area. Not only are companies losing customers as a result of the horrible roads, workers are totally helpless and rely only on God.
On several occasions, they have called on the state Government to save their lives by repairing at least one of the roads leading to the layout, to deter thieves, robbers, pickpockets who operate openly in the area.
The situation in the industrial layout was made worse when Coco Cola fenced off a major access road in the area allegedly allocated to it by the state Government. People are now forced to waddle through farmlands and bush paths to get to their destination.