21st March, 2011
The political violence in Edo State took another dimension on Sunday night as incumbent senator representing Edo South Senatorial district and candidate of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the April polls, Ehigie Uzamere escaped being killed by suspected assassins.
But his police oderly, Sergeant Ekaeze Onyechi was shot both in the chest and neck and he died on the spot while his driver Mohammed was shot in the leg.
Addressing journalists after the incident, Mr. Uzamere revealed how he was attacked yesterday along Zabayo Street, off Plymouth Road, in Benin City between 7.30 and 8 pm in the company of his driver and police orderly.
â€œAs soon as I came down to meet my aides in the other vehicle, I heard a gun shot. Immediately we heard the gun shots, we took cover, and we tried to locate where the gun shots were coming from. In the process, my orderly, Sergeant Onyechi was gunned down, while my driver, Mr. Mohammed was shot in the hip.â€
He further revealed that a distress call was made to the men of the special anti-robbery squad (SARS), who responded promptly to the call.
They exchanged fire with the suspected assassins, killing one of them. It was, however, discovered that the mobile police orderly to the senator who was shot at close range on the chest died at the spot, while his driver was lucky to survive with bullet wounds on his hip.
It was also revealed that bodies of the police orderly and the suspected assassin were later deposited at an undisclosed hospital mortuary.
The senator further revealed to newsmen that searches by police yielded result as two of the suspected assassins were arrested yesterday at Ugbiyoko, a suburb of Benin City.
â€œThis afternoon, the police called me and told me that two of the assassins were caught somewhere around Deeper Life camp ground, Ugbiyoko, and I went there with my party chairman. Getting there, I asked the young man if he knows me, and he said â€˜yes.â€™ I asked him who asked him kill me, he did not reply to my question, but he said, â€˜sir, you have helped me beforeâ€™,â€ the senator said.
Mr. Uzamere who reiterated that he won his mandate to represent the people of Edo south senatorial district by merit, called on the police to carry out a thorough investigation to get to the root of those behind the attempt on his life, with a view to bringing them to justice.
Chairman of Edo State chapter of ACN, Thomas Okosun, said that the senator got his ticket on merit, calling on all Edo people to place a curse on those behind the dastardly act.
Edo State Police Commissioner, David Omojola confirmed the incident to journalists, including the death of the police sergeant and the arrest of two of the suspected assassins.
â€œYou are aware that we lost a police officer in the attack. We should give respect to the dead. I have lost a gallant officer who left behind a family. All I can say is that we have reached an appreciable stage in the case.â€
He declined to give further information to the press.
By Yomi Obaditan/Benin