INC Reveals Identities of Perpetrators of Okomu Invasion, Narrates Incident

INC Reveals Identities of Perpetrators of Okomu Invasion, Narrates Incident | Daily Report Nigeria

The Ijaw National Congress (INC) has revealed identities of perpetrators of the recent invasion of Okomu community, Ovia South Local Government Area of Edo State.

Daily Report Nigeria earlier reported that a militia gang invaded the community on May 14, 2024 and razed at least 30 buildings.

The militia gang also shot some personnel of the Edo State Security Network attached to the community and set ablaze a double (85) Horse Power Speed Boat donated by the Edo State Government.

The militia gang repeated an attack on the military personnel on patrol to the community on June 7, 2024, and also shot the traditional ruler of Okomu Kingdom.

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According to the INC, the invasion was led by a certain Lawrence Yanbor, and debunked reports that the attack was perpetrated by military personnel who allegedly came to the community on invitation of the traditional ruler.

Chief Freeman Cousin, INC Chairman, Okomu Clan, said the misleading report was the handiwork of some mischievous persons and rumour mongers.

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Chief Cousin, who is a victim of the May 14 invasion as his house was completely razed by the gang, said:

“I wish to categorically state that publication by some ill-trained bloggers a few days ago that our king invited Lawrence and his gang for a meeting in disguise for them to be arrested by the military is not true.

“This is a lie peddled by Lawrence and his supporters. And the online platforms, rather than calling chiefs in the kingdom or persons like me who represent the apex body of the Ijaw nation in the kingdom, failed to do so but went ahead to publish the lies.

“This is an unprofessional conduct in the little I know about journalism. Now, if we take such online platforms to court, they will call us all sorts of names.

“This is exactly what happened in Okomu. There was information, according to the 4 Brigade Commander, that there were some persons that were involved in the Okuama killings in Delta State that were hiding in Okomu forest with Lawrence Yanbor.

“So, on the 7th of May, they went to Okomu community led by 4 Brigade Commander, and from there they went to Okorodudu and to Opuba where Lawrence and his group were hiding.

“So, on the third day of their stay the soldiers pulled out from the area in line with the directive from the 4 Brigade Commander, believing that there would be peace.

“Lawrence Yanbor and his gang came to Okomu community and alleged that it was Okomu community people that brought the army.

“Lawrence and his gang thereafter invaded the community and burnt down over 30 houses including mine, the base of Edo State Security Network and double (85) Horse Power Speed Boat Edo State Government donated.”

“After this incident, the Brigade Commander sent another troop to the scene of the crime. Thereafter, they left some soldiers at Makilolo community. They were saddled with the responsibility of maintaining peace through regular patrol between Makilolo community and Okomu community.

“And this was exactly what they were doing when on the 7th of June, on their normal routine patrol, they went to Okomu community and went to the King’s palace to greet him and stayed with him for a while.

“Immediately they left, according to the King, Lawrence and his gang surrounded the palace, and said they heard that the soldiers were in the palace. But unfortunately, the soldiers had left before they came.

“So, as this happened , the king put a call across to one of the leaders of the troop and informed them that Lawrence and his gang have taken over his palace.

“They were about entering their boat en route to Makilolo community, but because of the call from the King, they retrieved and as they were trying to get back to the palace for intervention as requested by the king, Lawrence and his gang laid ambush on the soldiers and opened fire on the soldiers.

“At this point, three soldiers sustained injury. The gang scattered the soldiers gunboat glass with bullets.

“After the attack on soldiers, the gang went back to the palace, shot the king, destroyed his house and took away some valuables from the palace. As people tried to rush the King to hospital, the gang stopped them, insisting that he must die.

“But along the line some persons summoned courage and rushed the king into a wooden boat to an undisclosed hospital in Ondo State. As we speak, he is still receiving treatment,” he narrated.

On allegation that the king invited the soldiers to Okomu to attack Lawrence and his gang and that the soldiers shot him (king), Chief Cousin questioned: “If truely he invited the soldiers, would they have shot him? Would they have destroyed his palace and cart away valuables?”

Chief Cousin thereafter warned those twisting the Okomu attack to desist from such an act, stating that any further twisted report by any platform whatsoever would be attended to legally.

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