Anambra Vigilante Group (AVG) has denied that its commander, Mr Ebubedike Okafor, masterminded the killing of a tricycle rider, Mr Oluchukwu Onah, in the Ojoto Community of Idemili South Local Government Area recently.
The tricycle operator was last week reported to have been killed on the order of the AVG commander, and his tricycle was confiscated and sold off to a buyer, from where it was later tracked and recovered.
The report stated that Onah’s body was disposed of in a river in the community known as mmili John, and this led to the arrest of Okafor, who was believed to have masterminded the killing.
But the publicity secretary of AVG, Mr Nweke Nweke, who spoke with journalists on Saturday, stated that there was no truth that the tricycle rider was killed on the command of the AVG Commander, or its operatives.
“What you saw in Ojoto last week was a perfect example of criminals fighting back. The AVG commander in Ojoto was not even around during the incident, but what happened was that some kidnappers came into the community and were immediately repelled by the AVG operatives, and they escaped from the community to a neighbouring community, where some youths now apprehended them.
“The commander who is today being held in police custody alongside one other person was not responsible for the killing, but I would not say much, so that the police can carry out a thorough investigation on the matter. But the truth is that the tricyclist who was believed to be part of the kidnap gang was not murdered in Ojoto, let alone by our operatives.
“Our operatives in Ojoto do not operate outside the community, so when the kidnappers using tricycle escaped outside Ojoto, the men retreated, because they have a mandate, which is to cover Ojoto,” he said.
He said the commander has helped rid the community of crime and that attempt to robe him into the death of the tricycle rider was just meant to silence him.
Also, in a voice note, the traditional ruler of the Ojoto community, Igwe Gerald Mbamalu, absolved the commander of the killing of the tricyclist. He said the commander has been useful in the fighting of crime in the community and the allegation was a way criminals fight back as a result of AVG’s stand against crime.
“They cannot be fighting crime in Ojoto community and be criminals themselves. The commander has been doing a good work in the community and has been helping to fight crime, so it will be very unfair to brand them criminals and take them away from the job they are doing in the community,” he said.