A pastor and founder of a Pentecostal church in Calabar Municipal Council of Cross River state, Rev. John Ene-Obong has been killed along with two others by irate youths over a land tussle in Ikot Ene-Obong community.
Ene-Obong, founder of Faith Builders Ministry, who reportedly returned to Nigeria from Canada barely a week before his death, went to inspect the land in company with the two other victims whose names were given as Effiong Koko-Ette and Victor Ene-Boco when they were ambushed and killed.
We gathered that the disputed land belongs to the family of the slain pastor and that his death might not be unconnected with a vengeance mission over the killing of one Eton, who was also killed on the same disputed land.
The late Eton we learnt was accused of maiming another man identified simply as Effiong – a victim of the protracted land dispute, who has one of his legs amputated following an injury sustained when he was shot.
Residents of the community and its environs now live in palpable fear following the war of attrition the land dispute had caused among members of late Chief Ene-Obong’s family even as the land dispute had polarised the family and factions now resorted to use of thugs to intimidate one another.
Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. John Umoh, said six persons had been arrested.
Umoh, who stated that investigation was ongoing on the matter, however, added that the principal suspect was still at large.
He said, “The state Criminal Investigation Department has taken over the matter. Six persons have so far been arrested in connection with the killings.
“There is one principal suspect that is still at large. However, those arrested are still in our custody and we will not release them until investigations have been concluded.”