Masquerade kills two in Imo

Two persons were killed when aggrieved members of a cult in Umutogume, Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State, invaded the village to avenge their colleague, who died during a festival at the weekend.
Among the victims were an octogenarian, Priscilla Chije, and her 44-year-old son, Onyeka Chije, who died instantly.
A cameraman was shot in the head. He later died. Chidel Chije, a cousin to Onyeka, was left with a severe wound. Others were also hit by stray bullets.
It was gathered that a masquerader, known as Udebube, from Abatu village, collapsed and died on the spot, fuelling suspicion that he was killed by the charm of the host masquerade.
Sources said members of the deceased’s team went back to their village, and allegedly brought gunmen to attack the village two days later.
One Mr Samuel Chije said, “the masquerader from Abatu village collapsed and died while performing during the festival and the members claimed he was killed by our village masquerade with voodoo. So, when we sensed what was going to happen, our village masquerade did not come out to dance on the day of the attack. They went and hired gunmen with AK 47 and stormed our village and started shooting, killing two persons, including my jounger brother, Onyeka Chije and injuring my mother, Pricilla Chije”.
“My brother was at his place of work when he heard that our mother was hit by stray bullet; he rushed home. When he got there, the gunmen, who had retreated to reinforce, saw him and shot him; he was riddled with bullets. My cousin, Chidel Chije, sustained gunshot wounds and is in critical condition in a hospital.”
Commissioner of Police Chris Ezike, said: “We have made some arrests and investigation is on. We have also met with the traditional ruler and other stakeholders. We also deployed policemen to the communities to avoid reprisal attacks”.

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