The corpses of eight farmers reportedly killed by suspected herdsmen at Uwheru in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, last Friday, have been exhumed for investigation.
The corpses were exhumed by a search team made up of police personnel and representatives of the community. Two of the corpses were exhumed on Sunday, while six others were exhumed on Monday afternoon, February 17.
On the same day the victims’ corpses were exhumed, the community confirmed reports that two others killed were burnt to ashes by the herdsmen.
One of those burnt to ashes was identified as Itoje Dennis from Otor-Iyede in Isoko North local government area of Delta State. He has since been taken to his hometown for burial.
The killings drew the ire of Urhobo Progress Union, UPU. The union, while condemning the renewed herdsmen attacks on Uwheru villages, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the killings of the people.
President-General of the community, Cassidy Akpedafe, and the Delta State Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, had on Sunday, February 16, disagreed on the reported killings. The police boss claimed the killings did not happen and that some individuals in the state were using the reports to cause apprehension in the state.
The CP added: “If there are any (deaths), why are their corpses being hidden from the police?”
But the community’s President-General accused the police commissioner of being economical with the truth.
Consequently, on Sunday afternoon, members of the community exhumed the corpses of two of those killed in the attack to prove the police wrong.
The corpses were taken to Central Hospital, Ughelli for autopsy.
Vanguard reports seeing the decomposing corpses of the duo when they visited the hospital morgue yesterday, with one of them burnt after he was said to have been shot dead by the assailants.
The community president-general said to the publication on Monday morning, Feb 17: “As we speak, seven persons are lying dead inside the bush and we are yet to recover their corpses.
“17 persons have been rushed to the hospital for medical treatment and I want to use this opportunity to appeal to the police not to cook up reports on this matter.”
Meanwhile, a security source from the 222 battalion, Agbarha-Otor, also told Vanguard yesterday that two of its men were shot during the attack.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “Yes, two soldiers from the battalion who are stationed at Bomadi and drafted to the area sustained injuries during the incident.
“They are in stable condition and are currently receiving medical attention for injuries sustained during the incident at Bomadi General hospital.”