By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Fear has gripped residents of Ikot Effenga Mkpa in Calabar Municipality local government area of Cross River state following the alleged cruel and gruesome murder of a businessman in the area.
As a result of this ugly development, residents of the area now sleep with one eye open after the alleged murder of one Vitalis Okoro “alias Egokent”.
The community which shares common boundary with the Nigerian Army’s Golf Field and one of the fastest developing settlement that have sprung up within the Calabar metropolis is still in confusion as to what might have led to the gruesome death of the deceased.
Sources close the community told the New Nigerian Online Correspondent that late Okoro, 62 year old with three children, hails from Mbano in Imo state.
He was allegedly beaten to death by a group of suspected hired assassins that invaded his house early hours of this week.
It was further gathered that his killers invaded his house at about 4: am of on that faithful day through his window and battered him to death.
After several beating, he was strangulated and his corpse was dumped and abandoned the vehicle with Late Okoro’s lifeless body inside it about one kilometer from his house.
Speaking to New Nigerian Online an eye witness account, Dr Andrew Bassey, a resident of the community said that the community is still at a loss as to what happened and they were yet to come to grips with the immediate and remote causes of the tragedy.
Said he ” I think they may have come from the back door because if they had knocked through this door, we would have heard and raised an alarm. But when I heard a shout from the apartment, I now woke up. I wanted to call the police but I did not have credit on my phone.
“I later discovered that even if I had called the police, they would not have made it because the whole thing happened so fast. This sad event happened at about 4 am in the morning and what I am telling you is that within 10 minutes, they were leaving and had already killed him. It happened very fast and I do not think they were robbers, they came just to kill him and it’s a pity,he lamented”.
The younger brother to the deceased, Moses Chidebere Okoro ,described the death of his brother as a every sad event that has left the family in deep shock and grief.
Chidiebere said ” my elder brother is a business man who faced some challenges due to the economic situation in the country and with the help of family members, he decided to auction his property in Calabar so as to facilitate his relocation and re-establishment in Imo state”.
He said his brother died within a week of his deciding to salel his property and relocate to Imo and before his death he had some family issues particularly with his wife, Chinwe Okoro who has been at loggerheads with him for the past four years.
According to him: “my brother has been at loggerheads with his wife for the past four to five years now, and so many attempts have been made to settle the issue but all to no avail. They got married in Court and not in the church and ever since they married, there has always been trouble all through.
He went to say “she is a nice lady, and likes welcoming people, and she also allows and makes the husband to assist other people. That is one good thing about her but she is too troublesome and stubborn.
“Several efforts have been made to make them come together but this proved futile and my brother has always been fond of her, he said”.
New Nigerian learnt that the wife of the deceased ,Chinwe Okoro who is considered a prime suspect in the crime, is presently in police custody and investigation is ongoing to ascertain the immediate and remote cause of the tragedy.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Irene Ugbo, confirmed the incident.
She said the matter is currently being investigated by the Police.