The recent clash among rival cult groups in the Diobu area of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, continued on Wednesday with one shot dead.
The latest victim popularly known as Asari in his twenties was killed around 7.55pm along Ekwe-Ikwerre Road, Mile 3 Diobu in the metropolis.
An eyewitness who did not want his name in print for security reasons told PUNCH Metro that the victim was standing with some persons when some armed men numbering about five came out from a car, shot him at a close range and zoomed off.
The shooting caused panic in the area as residents and passersby among others scampered to safety.
Roadside traders within the scene also hurriedly closed business for the day.Residents who spoke with our correspondent when he visited the area on Thursday described the killing as a continuation of a supremacy battle among members of rival cult groups.
“They were recently engaged in a shootout at Elechi Beach in Mile 1 Diobu, Port Harcourt last Tuesday which claimed two lives. Now, the war has spread to Mile 3,” one of the sources said.
Speaking on the incident, a vigilante and Chief Security Officer of Nkpolu Oroworukwo in Mile 3 Diobu, Godstime Ihunwo, confirmed the identity of the victim.
He disclosed that persons believed to be members of the victim’s cult group took away his corpse before his team and policemen got to the scene.
Ihunwo said, “Around 8pm on Wednesday, we heard two gunshots at IKwerre Road /Ekwe Street, opposite Bishop Okoye Street and quickly rushed to the scene.
“On reaching there, we saw a young man known as Asari laying dead and we immediately approached the Nkpolu Police Station to make our report.
“As we and some policemen were coming back to inspect the corpse, we got a report that some unknown gunmen drove with one Jetta and one Mazda and made away with the corpse.”
When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the incident.
She said, “Yes, the command is aware of the incident. It was a rival cult war which led to the killing. An investigation is ongoing to ascertain the cause of the clash.
“Already, the state Commissioner of Police has ordered the Tactical Unit to ensure that the perpetrators are apprehended and brought to justice.”