No fewer than seven persons have been killed in a multiple auto crash in the Ewu Hill end of the Benin-Auchi Expressway, in the Esan Central Local Government Area of Edo State.
It was gathered that 13 other people also sustained varying degrees of injury during the accident, which involved a commercial bus, two articulated trucks laden with cement and several other vehicles.
The Public Relations Officer of the state command of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr. George Otoaviokhai, confirmed the incident on Sunday. Otoaviokhai stated that the fatal crash occurred on one of the lanes of the road at about 11am on Saturday.
He explained that tragedy struck when the bus ran into one of the trucks, after “the brakes failed.”
Five of the victims were said to have died on the spot, while two others died on their way to a hospital. The accident was said to have grounded traffic for several hours before the intervention of the operatives of the FRSC.
Otoaviokhai said, “It is possible that the crash was caused by brakes failure and speed violation. Thirty-eight people were involved actually. Thirteen were injured. Seven (persons) died – six males and one female.”
He added that while the remains of the victims were deposited in the St. Lazarus Mortuary, those who were injured were taken to Hope Clinic at Jattu, in the Etsako West Local Government Area of the state.
Meanwhile, some gunmen have killed a youth leader, identified simply as Paragi, and a lawyer, Mfon Etukudo, in the Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
Paragi, who hailed from Nkek village, was said to have been shot dead on Saturday at about 6pm. Etukudo from Idung Nneke village was reportedly murdered on Sunday.
A source said a leader of a rival cult ordered the killing of Paragi because he was scared of his rising profile. He said, “Paragi was a popular youth leader in Ukanafun. Paragi was also the leader of a cult. The leader of the rival cult ordered his killing.”
Details on the killing of the lawyer were sketchy as of press time. The Police Public Relations Officer in Akwa Ibom, Mr. Chukwu Ikechukwu, confirmed the killings.
“Policemen are on the ground; they are doing everything to restore normalcy to the area.
“Efforts are in top gear to trace killers of the two men. So, we are not going to relent in our efforts to nab the assailants,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Akwa Ibom State Police has arrested eight persons suspected to be the killers of the late Ukanafun LGA secretary, Mr. Ime Atakpa.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Donald Awunah, said on Friday that the suspects confessed that they were sponsored by a politician in the Ukanafun LGA.
Awunah said the suspects had been charged to court for conspiracy and murder of Atakpa. Atakpa was killed on April 16, 2017, in his poultry at Ikot Udo Obodo village, in the Ukanafun LGA.