A four-man gang of hoodlums on Saturday, December 10, 2022 launched a vicious attack on a retired army officer and cleric, Rev. Vincent Durugbo and his security aide, Ayeselebo Christian, inflicting injuries on them.
The incident happened at about 5:00pm near Umuaka Community Hospital along Amaiyi Afor Umuaka Road in Umuaka, Njaba Local Government Area of Imo State.
The former army officer and his guard had left the Umuaka Police Station where he had lodged a complaint against some people and was heading to his home in Ojukwu Village Umuaka when the miscreants swopped on them.
He identified his attackers to be Izuchukwu Uwaoma, Ifeanyichukwu, Izuchukwu’s in-law Ujunwa Durugbo and Joseph Durugbo.
Rev. Durugbo disclosed that it was Izuchukwu who matcheted him with a special cutlass after the initial one he was using could not pierce through his body.
The General Overseer and founder of Community Church West Africa further disclosed that his other attackers deployed sticks and blocks on his head and other parts of his body.
He said they equally gave him several punches on his left eye with a view to making him blind.
His guard, Ayeselebo Christian was also punched on his left eye while matchet cuts on his chest left only lacerations with the cuts not penetrating his body.
He revealed that at the point he became partially unconscious, his attackers decided that he should be burnt alive.
He said Izuchukwu on the instruction of Joseph Durugbo left the scene and returned with a four-litre yellow keg of petrol and a match box preparatory to make a bonfire of him.
Rev. Durugbo said he was overhearing Izuchukwu shouting on top of his voice, ‘Vincent, I told you I will kill you”.
While Izuchukwu was shouting, Durugbo said his other attackers ordered a stoppage of further videoing of the scene so that the world would not see the person who would light the killer-fire.
He said it was at this juncture that help came from Aka Ebeiri Vigilance Group, whose operatives rescued him and his guard.
But he disclosed that one of the vigilance group operatives who is related to Izuchukwu hit him and his guard with the butt of his gun severally before dumping them in the boot of their Sienna vehicle and conveying them to the Umuaka Police Station.
Durugbo further disclosed that the operatives of the vigilance group first contemplated conveying him and his guard to the palace of the traditional ruler of Ugbele-Aka Community, Eze Peter Chinonyelunwa Ukonu, Akpaka 1.
He said they changed their mind after a phone call they made to a person whose identity he did not know who advised them to rather convey him and his guard to the police station.
At the police station, Durugbo insisted on writing a statement, but the Investigating Police Officer, one Juliet refused him writing a statement because ‘I was soaked in blood and the blood will stain the paper on which the statement would be written”.
Durugbo, who is also a Vice Principal in a Bayelsa State Government-owned secondary school disclosed that he wanted to write the statement with the little strength remaining in him so that it would be on record in the event that he had died from the injuries and loss of blood resulting from the attack.
The retired army officer said he was taken to a private hospital for first-aid treatment before going to the Federal Medical Centre, FMC Owerri for the authentication of a police report.
According to him, on getting to the FMC, he discovered that the Police Medical Report issued to him at Umuaka Police Station was un-stamped.
According to him, the FMC declined stamping the report resulting in his having to take it back to the Umuaka Police Station for proper stamping.
Durugbo alleged that some police officers at Umuaka might have been compromised in the running battle he has been having with the traditional ruler of Ugbele-Aka Community.
He cited the reluctance of the same IPO, Juliet to arrest Izuchukwu in 2016 when he snatched and tore his educational certificates and flung the shreds on his face, broke a bottle and threatened to stab him to death in the presence of three Ugbele-Aka Village heads namely Chief Ben Durugbo (now residing in the United States), Chief Festus Iwuaro (now deceased) and Chief Tango Okorom.
Durugbo said Juliet who handled the matter refused to arrest or help in bringing Izuchukwu, who he described as the traditional ruler’s agent to book.
He pointed out that the wife of the traditional ruler on November 1, 2022 threatened to kill him, saying he (Durugbo) would become the eighth person to be eliminated for disturbing her husband.
According to him, when he requested that the traditional ruler’s wife signed an undertaking after making the threat, the police also turned down his request.