Gunmen suspected to be hired assassins on Sunday murdered the traditional ruler of Mgbe community in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State, Eze Bredan Ibekwe.
The gunmen went away with the body and dumped it on the Orlu/Owerri Expressway, a few kilometres from his palace.
They also stole the king’s royal bead, wristband and mobile phone.
There was palpable tension in the community when our correspondent visited the palace yesterday. Dumbfounded villagers with heavy faces refused to comment.
But a villager, who claimed to have witnessed the killing, said the gunmen shot the monarch at close range and carried his body away.
He said: “The most annoying part of it is the way they dumped his body on the Orlu-Owerri expressway like a common thief. This has never happened before; it is a sacrilege. Igbo culture forbids it and we want the police to bring the perpetrators to book.”
It was gathered that the community has been embroiled in communal crisis which has pitched one village against another.
Police spokesman Andrew Enwerem confirmed the killing, saying the Commissioner of Police, Dasuki Galandanchi, has ordered an investigation into the killing.
“We got information on the murder of the traditional ruler of Mgbe community and immediately mobilised to the scene. Two people have been arrested and the Commissioner of Police has called for a thorough investigation of the killing,” he added.