**”Gunmen kill renowned Professor of economics, Onyemelukwe

A burial ceremony in Umuogbuefi village, Ebenebe, Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State, has turned awry as armed men suspected to be members of a secret cult invaded the ceremony, kill 20 persons

It was gathered that the burial ceremony was that of a suspected leader of a cult, Ozo who was killed by a rival cult last year.

The suspected cult gang stormed the venue of the ceremony while the corpse of Ozo was lying in state in his compound and sent the mourners scampering for safety, while shooting at them.

Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, said that it was a case of cult rivalry.

He said: “Yes, this morning (Saturday), there was an incident at Ebenebe. A burial was going on, when some people suspected to be cultists invaded the area and started shooting.

“I do not have details of casualties now, but I will keep you informed once the picture becomes clear.

“For now, the Commissioner of Police, CP Echeng Echeng has despatched tactical squads comprising of various units to the area to maintain calm.”

In another development gunmen suspected to be members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have killed Prof I.O.Onyemelukwe.

Onyemelukwe, a professor of Economics until his death is the father of Prof Cheluchi Onyemelukwe, a Canadian scholar and winner of the Nigeria prize for Literature, 2021, with prize sum of $100,000.

It was learnt that gunmen had on Thursday night struck in Oko, Orumba South Local Government Area, where they blocked vehicles coming from Umunze, Ufuma, near Oko town.

Sources said the gunmen killed an unidentified man in less than one hour operation, while abducting two men who were said to have been unable to answer questions about the self determination struggle of IPOB.

A social media user with the name Onyi has identified the slain man as Prof Onyemelukwe.

Onyii in the post said: “South East is indeed going down. Just lost my Godfather to the hands of the marauding killers devastating the Southeast environment.”

“An 88 year old man, first class brain, Prof I.O.Onyemelukwe. He was the former permanent secretary in the old Anambra State. Later a Professor of Economics at UNIZIK.”

“He studied Economics with OAU scholarship at Adis Ababa, Ethiopia at the age of 22. He is the father of Dr Cheluchi Onyemelukwe that won LNG $100,000 literature prize last year.”

“He (Onyemelukwe) was returning to Nanka from Enugu with his wife and decided to follow Oji, Ufuma, Amaokpala, Oko axis instead going through Awka when he was attacked by these hoodlums.

“He is the cousin of the former Bishop of the Niger, Bishop J.A.Onyemelukwe. “May his soul rest in peace,Amen!

His daughter, Dr Cheluchi Onyemelukwe, winner of the 2021 NLNG Prize for Literature with the novel; a Son of the House, had in January been named one of the Canadian Black Writers to look out for in the future.

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the state command, DSP Toochukwu Ikenga when contacted on Saturday said he was aware of the shooting incident in Oko community but had no detailed information on the matter

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