21st August, 2022
Four members of Odupkani Effiwat community in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River are dead after they were beaten and forced to drink herbicide by members of a rival family over land dispute and a palm estate in the area.
The victims: Effiom Eyamba, 55; Samuel Eyamba, 35; Efiong Eyamba 22 and Ekpeyong Ekpeyong, were reportedly killed by persons rival family members over the disputed land.
They were allegedly forced to ingest herbicide after thorough beating over the disputed parcel of land which also encapsulated a palm estate.
Obed Eyamba who demanded for justice, said that he lost three of his brothers and their friend who accompanied them on the journey .
Also, the mother of one of the deceased, Mrs Marta Ekpeyong, said that her 35-year old son, Ekpeyong who had been a childhood friend to the Eyambas, never came back home since June 27.
She said that she received the shocking news when she heard that he was killed alongside his friends whom he accompanied to the village.
She appealed to the Police, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Cross River, to assist her as she had no one to get justice for her.
DSP Ewa Igri, Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Cross Rivers Police Command confirmed the killing of four people over a disputed family land at Odupkani Effiwat community in Odukpani Local Government Area of the state.
He said that the command was inundated with petitions over the matter while six suspects had been arrested in connection with the deaths.
The police spokesperson, however, called for patience while the police concluded investigation on the matter.
“In fact, we have arrested six persons among whom were James Effiok and Edem Okokon who have confessed to the murder of the four persons, by tying them and forcing them to drink herbicide.
“We will follow due process to get to a logical conclusion of this matter. We have received several information about how they intend to use certain government offices in the judiciary to avert justice; we are not perturbed; we will handle the matter in the most professional manner.
“The suspects in our custody have made confessional statements, both written and verbal and we have them on record, and we shall follow through with the position of the law.
“No one is bigger than the law, no individual is above the law, I can assure the family of the deceased and Nigerians that the Cross River State Police Command will do the right thing, no matter whose ox is gored,” he assured.