Ikechukwu Udendu, editor of Anambra News, a monthly newspaper based in Onitsha, Anambra state, was slain over the weekend by gunmen believed to be hired assassins, it was learned today.
The deceased was returning from Onitsha to his country home, Ogidi in Idemili North Local Government Area Saturday night when the incident allegedly happened.
The state commissioner of police, Mr. Ballah Nasarawa while confirming the tragic act, said he would personally involve himself in investigating the matter with a view towards identifying the killers and their paymaster.
The State Chairman of the NUJ , Comrade Henry Nwasike and his Secretary, Comrade Ifeoma Anumba could not be reached at press time for reaction to the murder.
A family source said IK had left the family house on Saturday morning to a commercial printing house in Onitsha to check if his monthly paper was ready for distribution, but failed to return home.
IK's elder brother, Chukwulozie Udendu, also a journalist and publisher of the Anambra News, said the body of his slain younger brother had been deposited at Iyi-Enu Hospital Mortuary, Ogidi, for autopsy.
Chukwulozie said IK had no quarrel or disagreement with anybody that could warrant his gruesome murder, but disclosed that he received an anonymous phone call on Saturday night telling him to go and pick up his brother's corpse in front of the Okay Okay restaurant at Afor Nkpor where he found the lifeless body.
He said family members contacted the vigilante group who assisted in contacting the police from Ogidi police station who took the corpse to nearby Iyi-Enu Hospital Mortuary.
He disclosed that taking a glance at the corpse, it appeared that the gunmen had shot him in one of his hands which penetrated his ribs and lungs. He added that a close examination of the bullet-riddled part showed that he had been killed few hours ago at a place not where his body was found but his body brought to Afor Nkpor and dumped.