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Nigeria Police Arrest Village Head, Others Over Alleged Killing Of Herders’ Cows In Akwa Ibom

Nigeria Police Arrest Village Head, Others Over Alleged Killing Of Herders’ Cows In Akwa Ibom
September 30, 2022

Ekpo was arrested in connection with the alleged killing of cows belonging to Fulani herders by people in his community.

The Nigeria Police Force has arrested Chief Benson Udo Ekpo, Village Head of Ikot Akpan in the Oruk Anam local government area of Akwa Ibom State.

Ekpo was arrested in connection with the alleged killing of cows belonging to Fulani herders by people in his community.

The spokesman for the state police command, Mr Odiko MacDon confirmed the arrest of members of the community but said he would not differentiate one arrested person from another.

MacDon added that the police commissioner, Olatayo Durosinmi had ordered an investigation into the matter.

MacDon, who spoke in an interview with journalists on Thursday, said, “We have received such reports that some cows were slaughtered in the community. Cow meats were found in some homes in the village. Some persons have been arrested. I don’t know whether the Village Head is one of them.”

“We also received a report that one person is missing. That is why police swung into action and arrested the people and they are in our custody. We have commenced preliminary investigation into the matter to ascertain all the allegations,” he added.

Vanguard reports that residents have denied killing the cows, adding they only chased away herdsmen and their cows from their community for invading farms and destroying crops, which the police command had allegedly ignored.

A youth leader of the community, Aniefiok Amos said the herdsmen invaded their community on Tuesday with their cows, destroying cassava, yams and other crops before some youths chased them out of the area.

Amos said, "On Tuesday, we saw herd of cows that invaded our farms in the Ikot Akpan village, destroying crops. All we did was pursue them and they ran to the neighbouring village. So what happened to the cows when we left them in another village, we don’t know.

"We have to protect our, farms and crops. But we were surprised as the police arrested our respected Village Head, Chief Benson Udo Ekpo for an offence he never committed. We learnt that other persons have also been arrested in the village in connection with the matter.”

Another youth, Abasi Akpakpan said the Village Head was wrongly arrested by the police.

He called for a thorough investigation into the matter but urged the police to release the village leader first.

Akpakpan advised the state police command to release the Village Head, saying, “We want the police to release our Village Head first and then continue with their investigation. They should also visit the farms the Fulani herdsmen destroyed with their cows and equally arrest them.”