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Prof Reuben Okechukwu, others escape death in Ebonyi

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Ruth Oginyi

Prof Okey Reuben Okechukwu, the Provost of the newly established Federal College of Education, Technical, Isu, in Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State Wednesday attacked by yet-to-be-identified gunmen in the area.

The provost was returning from work when he was attacked together with the school Liberian Mr. Lawal Shuaibu, and others and set his vehicle on fire inside the bush after taking away their valuables.

The incident took place close to the boundary between the Isu Onicha Local Government Area and Agba in Ishielu LGA of the State.

The provost and his team were in a Mercedes Jeep with registration number: Abj371 TS leading a Convoy of about five Vehicles from his office at the temporary site of the college in Isu back to Abakaliki, after the close of work, when the incident happened.

It was gathered that the second vehicle was a Tundra van Conveying TETFUND Consultants from Abuja who came to oversee bid opening in the College, which reverse immediately to Isu Police Division to alert the police.

Also in the car with the provost was a police escort, two Aides to the provost, and the driver.

It was gathered that the attackers struck when the convoy was moving in slow motion at the Agba bridge, where sand sacks were used to block the road.

A source said, “A young unarmed man sprang out, waving down the car, while suddenly a group of gun-armed men trooped out from nearby bush aiming at the car.

“As the driver attempted to reverse, they (suspected kidnappers) opened fire on the provost’s car and the car swerved into the bush, but the first gunshot hit the Librarian, Mr. Lawan at the back of his neck, while the second wounded the driver on the forehead.

“While inside the bush, the occupants of the car opened the doors and ran for their lives as another bullet hit Mr. Lawan again in the shoulder and he fall crawling away.

“The driver who finds a track road met another group who mobbed him with stones and sticks till the sudden arrival of a team of policemen from Isu division of Nigerian Police, who rescued and took him to the hospital at Isu.”

Following the report, the Police went into action and dislodged the attackers.

An eyewitness account has it that the third vehicle in the convoy was a Toyota Camry conveying some staff of the college; the car drove very near to the scene and received a gunshot that blew off one of the front tires but knock down one of the assailants while reversing to Isu community.

He said, “Before the arrival of the Police team from Isu and the subsequent arrival of the team from the State Command, Abakaliki, the hoodlums had already looted and burnt down the Mercedes Jeep.

“Fortunately, the police teams combed the bushes and rescued the provost, the librarian, and the police orderly while the other two Aides to the provost escaped through the river to Agba Community from where they were assisted back to Abakaliki,” he said

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