Unknown gunmen, weekend, shot eight people dead at Agbonchia market area, Eleme Local Government of Rivers State, according to eyewitnesses.
State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ahmad Muhammad, however, said five people died, adding that a suspect had been arrested.
According to him, the killers stormed a place around a market where people wash motorcycles and opened fire on those around.
“The assailants came on motorcycles, opened fire at a motorcycles wash point at Agbonchia Eleme and fled. Five persons lost their lives.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the attack was related to cult activities. One suspect is right now undergoing interrogation, while moves to arrest other fleeing miscreants has begun.”
Witnesses said the assailants pretended as if they wanted to wash their bikes. “Suddenly, they started shooting at those around and when they were done, they hopped on their bike and fled,” the eyewitnesses said.
Meanwhile, Rivers State Police Command said it had uncovered plans by two rival political groups to protest, today, the Federal High Court ruling in Port Harcourt that nullified the May 23 elections of 22 local government executives.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Austin Agbonlahor in a statement in Port Harcourt, warned that the police will not allow any act that would cripple peace in the state, urging those aggrieved over the high court judgement to explore legal means to express their feelings. He appealed to the political class to allow peace reign, stressing that the state had seen enough of politically-motivated protests.
“Information at the disposal of Rivers State Police Command indicates plans by unknown individuals to hold a protest today in Port Harcourt metropolis and other locations in the state against the recent Federal High Court judgment nullifying the election of the chairmen of 22 councils and the swearing-in of caretaker committees in their stead.
“Similarly, the command has credible intelligence that the protesters will be countered by another group. This could lead to confrontation with unpleasant consequences.
“We are in a democracy, where the Rule of Law and the right to protest are legitimate rights and aspirations. However, these rights stop where those of the other person begins.
“We acknowledge that anyone can hold a legitimate and peaceful protest; it is also fair to admit that the protest planners would not be able to control the process as pro- and anti-forces, and hoodlums, could hijack it and turn the state into a theatre of violence.
“So we are advising that all aggrieved persons should sheathe their swords and toe the path of honour by resorting to legal means of seeking redress and justice,” Agbonlahor said.