A gang of five unidentified hoodlums, armed with AK 47 rifles, yesterday invaded the palace of Eze Moses Ngele, the traditional ruler of Ishiagu kingdom of Ivo local government area of Ebonyi State, with one of the hoodlums esc N10 million.
Those who witnessed the incident said that the gunmen forcefully gained entrance into the palace while shooting sporadically.
A witness added that it was unclear whether the gunmen came to abduct the traditional ruler whose coronation had been a subject of litigation.
Eze Ngele accused chairman of Ivo local government area, Celestine Eze, and a commissioner in Governor Martin Elechi’s government of sending the gunmen after him.
But in a swift reaction, the Ivo LGA Chairman denied the allegation that he organised a group of men to kidnap the king.
“It is not true. Somebody will just wake up and start alleging something against me. Why should I do such a thing? I don’t have anything to do with such an incident,” he said.
The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ishiagu confirmed the incident to newsmen, saying that the suspected gunmen were simply boys who came to disrupt the meeting holding at the palace.
DPO Okey Obieke said that three of the youths were arrested but none of them was seen with guns.
The traditional ruler described his ordeal as reads below:
“Five boys came to my compound at about 12 noon today (yesterday). One of them surrounded the people down stairs. So when he surrounded them with gun, he succeeded in carrying the N10 million I brought to do projects for the people of my area, then he threw the big parcel to one of his gang members who ran away from the fence.
“Then one of them climbed another fence through the window and met me in my room with a gun. He said that they were sent to kidnap me.
“Then the boy said I should give them N150 million to spare my life. So as I was shivering, then police arrived because those down stairs had alerted the police. When the police came, they apprehended one of them that was still holding the gun.
“The one in the room tried to jump the fence to start running, then police caught him as well. The boys confessed that their emissary told them to kill me and that if I resist kidnapping, I should be killed immediately”.
“When the police came, the three boys that were arrested started begging the police. So the boys told the police categorically that they should please have mercy on them, that they were sent to come and kill me in my palace.
“That was what happened today and the whole of Ishiagu and the police station everywhere was ready to kill the people. The people were asking why did they come to kill our king, what did king do. They could not say anything.”