Police in Edo State have arrested the Iyatsere of Warri Kingdom, Chief Johnson Atseleghe for alleged kidnapping and murder.
Police spokesperson in the state, DSP Nwabuzor Chidi confirmed the arrest of the Warri Chief in a telephone chat.
He said, “Yes. That’s confirmed. It’s under investigation.”
Although the Police spokesperson did not mention the said kidnapped and murdered victim, it was gathered that the arrest is coming following the lingering land disputes between the Itsekiri and Bini people in Ologbo Community in Edo State where several persons have been allegedly killed from both sides.
Reacting to the report, Prince Yemi Emiko said, “The matter really is that, Yes; the guy is with the Police. He was invited by the AIG in Benin as a responsible citizen, he went there. They now detained him that he kidnapped and killed somebody.
“If you’ve been following the issues there, you will know that it is not a case of kidnapping and killing.
“Even some of our people were killed there. About three or four Itsekiris.”
While noting that there has been a lingering crisis over land between the Itsekiri and Bini people in Ologbo Community, Prince Emiko described the matter as “oil politics”.
According to him,” There are some Communities around there like Ajamogha, Ajoki that are oil-producing.
“Of course, Ologbo is in Edo State but that does not give the Bini people the right over the land because Ologbo is an Itsekiri Community. They(Itsekiri) have been there from time immemorial.
“We have lived in mutual respect and understanding with the Bini. We are not in any contention with them.
“But recently, they brought one young boy there as the Enogie. His father used to be Enogie, Prince Akenzua and throughout Prince Akenzua’s tenure, we all lived in peace. But they brought this young man who does not know his left from his right. They’re going about trying to rewrite history.
“The issue is that the AIG in Benin has been compromised because he has been going around telling people that the Iyatsere wants to take Bini peoples land and give it to Itsekiri people. Is that what an umpire should be telling people?
“Our people led by the Ologbotsere have gone there himself to go and meet with the AIG. Let him tell us how the man kidnapped and killed anybody. It’s terrible.”
Recently, one Mr. Sunny Etchie, an Itsekiri was allegedly murdered by unknown persons because of his positive stance for his people who were being marginalized by oil multinationals operating and some neighbouring Edo riverine & oil producing Communities which share boundaries with his Koko Community, Warri North Local Government Area.