Fresh crisis is now brewing in Ekpan, Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State, following the arrest of the traditional head (Unuevworo) of Ekpan community, in connection with the alleged murder of three persons by security agents in the state.
Agbofodoh was arrested by the men of the anti-kidnapping squad of the Delta State Police Command.
He was alleged to have been responsible for the killings of John Mugidi, Joseph Utuedor and Edigbe Ikpesa.
Ekpan which plays host to the Warri Refining and Petrochemicals Company (WRPC) including several oil multinational companies in the state, has been engulfed in leadership crisis.
The recent arrest of the community head, has further heightened tension in the community
It was gathered that the factional leadership of the community which is also alleged to be loyal to the Delta State Government instigated the arrest of the Ekpan traditional head.
A community leader, Mr. Blessing Oghori, who narrated how the community head was arrested, debunked the murder allegation leveled against the Ekpan traditional head.
Oghori, who condemned the arrest, said: “What is happening now is unhealthy for peace and security in Ekpan. The community under the authority of the Unuevworo has been very peaceful for some time now. Everybody is going about his normal business.
“It is shocking that without an arrest or search warrant, the police and army with internal collaborators can invade the home of such a personality, brutalise and take him out like a common criminal.
He added: “At about 2.45pm, men of the Nigerian Army and mobile policemen stormed his compound in the Delta state’s Waterways to take him away. There was no warrant of arrest but he didn’t argue with them.
“The soldiers and mobile policemen numbering over a hundred were guided by community informants opposed to Chief Agbofodoh. The informants I can identify very well were wearing camouflage and bearing guns too.
“Immediately the army held Chief Agbofodoh, the community informants attacked and break his head with a gun. They then dragged him naked inside a vehicle and took him to the Warri Area Command. The man was really messed up in the presence of the police who did nothing about it.”
Residents of the area told our correspondent on Saturday those youths loyal to both leadership factions were engaged in gun duel all through Friday night to early Saturday creating panic among residents.
Uneasy calm pervades the volatile Ekpan community under the circumstance with residents concerned about probable break down of law and under between factions loyal to Chief Agbofodon and the opposition which alleged orchestrated his arrest.
Police Public Relations Officer, Delta State Command, DSP Celestina Kalu, who confirmed the arrest, said the Uvwie leader is presently undergoing interrogation.
In a situation report sent to our correspondent, Kalu said, “At about 1520hrs 17/06/2016, one Chief Newton Agbofodoh was arrested at Ekpan by a team of anti-kidnapping Opts ACPOL Warri led by Inspector James Daniel in connection with murder of John Mugidi on 16/5/16, and murder of Joseph Utuedor on 27/5/16;
“The Murder of Edigbe Ikpesa sometime in October 2012, and the Delta Mall robbery/wanton destruction in January 2016. The suspect is linked to series of killing within Ekpan and effort is being intensified to arrest his cohorts.”