Suspected cultists kill Edo broadcaster on Christmas Eve


A broadcast journalist with the Independent Television and Radio, Hillary Nosa Odia, has been shot dead by suspected cultists around 2nd East Circular, Benin City, Edo State capital on Christmas Eve.

A colleague of the deceased who spoke with PUNCH Metro said the late Odia left the office at about 4pm on Sunday while the news of his death filtered into the ITV premises later in the night to the surprise of those who worked with him that day.

The colleague stated that the killing was as a result of cult clashes around Esigie area, off East Circular Road. He noted the deceased’s brother was also killed in a similar fashion last year, stating that three people were also shot on the day Odia was killed.

He described the late broadcaster as jovial, hardworking and easy to work with while calling on the police to unravel his death and apprehend the suspects.

The source said, “The late Odia closed from work at 4pm on December 24. Unfortunately, we heard of his death around Esigie hours later and it was a very big shock to the staff of the ITV.

“His brother was also killed in a similar fashion last year and I heard that the December 24 killing was due to cult clashes. He was a jovial person, easy to work with, hardworking. I hope the police will apprehend his killers soon.

I also heard that he was trying to quit his own house at Upper Mission Extension and rent an apartment along Airport Road, while he also wrote an exam on Saturday morning at Edo State Polytechnic in Usen, where he was taking a course,” the source added.

However, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Edo State Council has commiserated with the management and staff of ITV over the death of Odia.

A statement signed by the Chairman of the NUJ in Edo State, Comrade Festus Alenkhe, and the Secretary, Andy Egbon, said the union charged security agencies in the state, especially the Nigeria Police to unravel the circumstances surrounding Odia’s murder.

The statement prayed for the repose of the soul of the fallen colleague and urged his family to take solace in the fact that Odia would be remembered on the positive side of history.

The statement further charged journalists to investigate the incident of Odia ‘s death and as well ensure adequate reportage of the killing.

The PPRO of the Edo State Police Command, Chidiebube Nwabuzor, confirmed the killing but said information was sketchy at this time, promising to give details of the incident on Tuesday.

When asked if he knew whether the deceased had reported a threat to his life, he said he wouldn’t know as there were many cases treated by the men of the command daily.

He added: “I can confirm that the killing took place. Information is sketchy now but details would be revealed tomorrow after preliminary investigation.”

Credit: PUNCH


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