The Eziali village in Mgbidi, Oru West Local Government Area of Imo State was thrown into mourning during the yuletide when one of their leaders (names withheld) was found buried alive.
According to reports, the deceased was abducted by unknown gunmen suspected to be hired killers on December, 27 last year, only for his body to be exhumed from a graveside weeks later after one of the suspects had been arrested.
Sources, however, revealed that the deceased had a land dispute with one of his kinsmen shortly before he was abducted.
The police, however, swung into action as soon as the family of the victim reported the incident.
All efforts to trace the whereabouts of the community leader failed until the abductors tried to extort N30 million from the victim’s family, even though they had buried him alive.
The family, however, played along with them and dropped money at the appointed spot where, unknown to the gang, the police had planted one of them disguised as a mad man.
The suspect appeared from his hideout to pick the money and was demobilized and arrested by the policeman in disguise.
Sources said that the suspect later confessed, leading to the arrest of other members of the gang. The police were later led to the spot at Ozara, a neighbouring village, where the victim’s body was exhumed.
Describing the act as an abomination, a community leader, said that a cleansing exercise would be carried out in the village.
He appealed to the government to ensure that justice is done to calm frayed nerves.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Imo State command, Mr. Vitalis Onugu, said he was yet to see the report as he was away on an official assignment.