A 42-year-old man, identified as Edidiong Joseph Effiong was, on Wednesday, murdered in cold blood over a lingering land dispute between two families in Ibiaku Itam in Itu local government area of Akwa Ibom State.
DAILY POST gathered that the deceased was severally cut around his neck region by his suspected assailant, Ambrose Bassey Jeremiah, before he gave up the ghost.
According to the father of the deceased, Chief Joseph Effiong, who is also the family head of the greater Ikamaenyin family of Ikot Efaha Itong community, “The land belonged to my late father since the 30’s and when I grew up I inherited the land at his death. Part of the land is where I am building this house and shops here as you can see.
“But along the line, precisely in 2010, this boy of over 35 years old started laying claim to the land, saying someone in the community showed him the plot as belonging to them.
“The matter has been in court since 2010 and the case was to be decided on August 8, when he decided to take the laws into his own hands perhaps in anticipation of losing the case.”
Effiong explained that the fleeing suspect came to his compound, armed with a very sharp machete, which he threw and caught in mid air three times before dashing into the disputed land.
“With that very sharp machete, he cut my plantain in that land and started raining abuses. When I was told he had cut the plantain, I asked that he be left to go with it perhaps he was hungry, but my son, apparently provoked by his abuses, was forced to pursue after him,” he said.
Also the deceased’s friend, who pleaded anonymity, said he witnessed the murder of his friend and vowed to avenge, lamenting that such “bare-faced criminality should not be allowed to go away”.
His words, “When my friend pursued after the suspect, he (the deceased) lost balance, slipped and fell and the assailant rushed at him and started to cut his face, arm and the neck region. And because I was carrying two bottles as my only weapon, but I was afraid that I won’t be able to contain a man with sharp machete.
“I stood there thinking he was only slapping Edidiong with the machete, not knowing he was actually inflicting serious machete attack all over his body.”
Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Odiko Macdon, who confirmed the incident, said, “the Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr. Zaki Ahmed, has ordered that the case be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for investigation”.
He said though the suspect is on the run, no effort would be spared in apprehending him to face the law.