Suspected members of a secret cult on Saturday invaded a burial ceremony in Ebenebe in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State, killing no fewer than 16 persons.
The gunmen also desecrated the corpse of a suspected leader of a cult group, named Ozo, which was being prepared for burial.
THISDAY gathered that while the corpse of Ozo was lying-in-state in his compound, the suspected cultists arrived at the scene and shot at the mourners while others scampered to safety.
A resident of the community told THISDAY that: “My sister was supposed to be at the burial. She and her friends had already prepared to leave Awka for Ebenebe, but the vehicle they booked to take them disappointed them.
“She and her friends were so unhappy, and they decided to go in search of another vehicle that can take them. It was in the course of going to the burial that they received a phone call that everybody at the burial had been dispersed by some gunmen.
“She also got a video from the scene, which showed several persons lying in the pool of their own blood dead, while the corpse was desecrated, with its coffin lying far apart, while the corpse was sprawled on the ground.”
Anambra State Police command has confirmed the incident, saying that it was a case of cult rivalry.
The spokesman of the state police command, DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, who spoke to THISDAY 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 has dispatched tactical squads comprising various units to the area to maintain calm,” he said.
David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka