The Ekikienkpong family in Idum Mbube community in Ogoja, Cross River has petitioned the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.- Gen. Farouk Yahaya, over the alleged murder of their son, Joseph Okpe.
The family had accused the officers of the Nigerian Army from the Ogoja Battalion of the Nigerian Army of killing Okpe.
According to the petition, the family alleged that the troops, led by one Maj. Olayinka Olaoye shot dead the 37-year-old man at the hotel premises on March 17, 2023, a day to the Governorship and House of Assembly elections.
The family, who decried the alleged murder of Okpe, a major power bike dealer in Cross River, appealed to the COAS to ensure those responsible were brought to book.
The petition, dated April 15, signed by E. E. Osim of the Advocate Legal Chamber in Calabar, also reiterated the need not to allow a few elements to dent the image of the Nigerian Army.
The deceased was said to be married with three children before his alleged murder.
He was said to have been trailed to the hotel by the soldiers who were allegedly engaged by the deceased’s business associates before he was gunned down in the process.
The petition alleged that some of the deceased’s friends were earlier arrested by the soldiers when he (deceased) went to check on his aged parents after checking in the hotel.
‘After checking in at the hotel, our brother left to visit his aged parents and some family members, leaving the team he travelled to settle. Immediately he left, soldiers arrived at the hotel, demanding Joe amidst heavy shooting, which sent everyone scampering for safety,” the petition reads.
“Since he was not around, all his friends were arrested and taken to an unknown destination with their phones impounded while detailing a mole for surveillance.
“Immediately after he drove in, Maj. Olayinka and his men arrived. He was shot in the hip while trying to alight from his car.
“After he collapsed on the floor, they advanced closer and opened fire at close range and he died instantly, his car was ransacked, and cash carted away,” it stated.