A suspected cultist in his early 30s was on Monday shot and hacked to death in what police described as an ongoing cult clash in Calabar, Cross River State capital. The incident reportedly happened around 8:30am on Iboku Street in Calabar South LGA near a barber’s shop where the victim, who was simply identified as Samuel by neighbours and witnesses, had gone to have a haircut.
He was reportedly standing in front of the barber’s shop with the barber when his assailants shot at him severally before attempting to severe his head with a machete. The spokesperson of the police in the state, Irene Ugbo, who confirmed the killing, said it was the outcome of the ongoing rival cult clash between Klans and Axe groups which, she said, has claimed many lives already.
An eye witness, who gave his name as Francis Akpan, said, “There was stampede when the two men, dressed in black pair of trousers and tee-shirts, brandished their machetes and guns. “They wanted to sever Samuel’s head after they had shot and hacked him severally with a machete. They were about to completely severe the victim’s head when they were dissuaded by shouting by people from their hideouts and blaring of police siren,” he said. Francis said the victim, who lived on Idang Street by Atim Edem Rise Street, was a trader at the popular Watt market in Calabar while his mother is a petty trader in the neighbourhood.
He said the victim must have been trailed by his killers, adding that police operatives from the Mbukpa division who arrived the scene after the suspected rival cultists had fled, evacuated the body. The victim was suspected to have belonged to a cult group called Axe which is reported to be at loggerheads with rival group, Klans.