Some yet-to-be-identified hoodlums, suspected to be cultists, have stabbed and butchered a ‘mentally challenged’ man to death in Awka, the Anambra State capital.
It was gathered that the incident happened on Sunday while the victim was sitting at his usual base at Dike Park, near Zik Avenue, when the suspected cultists invaded the place.
An eyewitness in the area said the suspected cultists shot severally at the man before using various sharp objects to stab and dismember parts of his body.
The reason for their action has yet to be ascertained, but it was gathered that the suspected cultists might have gone after him because of his alleged involvement in cult-related activities before his mental illness began.
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Although, some residents living around the area were of the opinion that the man was not “mentally challenged”, while others believed he was “mentally challenged” as, according to them, “he always ate his excreta whenever he stayed at his usual base”.
One of the sources said, “The suspected cultists fired many bullets at him, but the bullets did not penetrate. They resorted to stabbing and using all manner of sharp objects on him and even stoning him until he died.
“He used to be a member of a cult before he became mentally ill recently. No one knows what caused it, but you know these cultists, once you are committed, you are committed, and they must come for you.”
There have been rising cases of cult-related killings among various rival groups over the years, especially in Awka and environs.
As a result, the Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Aderemi Adeoye, had recently declared a showdown on the cultists and threatened to go after them and their sponsors if they continue.
The state police spokesman, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, when contacted, confirmed the killing of the man, adding that the Divisional Police Officer of Central Police Station in Awka deployed men promptly to the scene to forestall further breakdown of law and order.
Ikenga said, “The DPO immediately swung into action, retrieved the corpse, and deposited it in a morgue.
“I cannot confirm that the man was mad, but when the family comes for the corpse, we will be able to ascertain the mental health of the deceased.
“For now, police are liaising with eyewitnesses to ensure that the perpetrators are tracked and arrested.”