Crime Diary: Rumuolumini and the ways of the Cults

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* Why Nkpor community residents fled for two months

* How dog meat led to killing of Ashanti, the man nobody could kill 

By Codratus Godson

Killing of Ashanti

The most dreaded cult killer in Rumuolumini, popularly called ‘Ashanti,’ was believed to be difficult to bring down. He was notorious for taking lives anyhow. Many attempts were made to take him out but he was always surrounded by bodyguards.

One evening three months ago, according to sources close to the underworld in Rumuolumini, Ashanti could not endure the biting desire to have a taste of his favourite, dog meat. He walked to his choice spot in the area and sat down to eat meat. In no time, information seemed to get out that the target was alone at a spot. Soon, a green Toyota car allegedly pulled up; three boys sat waiting.

One allegedly entered into the inn and made like he wanted to buy something from the woman running the dog meat spot. He came out and whispered with the two others. Next, investigations reveal, one went to the generator point and one went into the shop, marking the exact location of the target.

As soon as the light went off, the one inside shot at Ashanti right on the forehead, and then on the chest; the brain & hearth killing concept by seasoned assassins. Everybody ran away. The killers reunited in the car and drove away. The inn-keeper ran as fast as her legs could carry her, got to a point, fell, got up, ran back, looked at Ashanti, and ran away again. She fainted at the Rumuolumi police post. The police later picked up the corps and trouble began.

His cult group, a popular group said to be the first cult group to arrive Rivers State decades ago, and now very powerful and attractive to most youths, went berserk. They later promised that big head (important man) must go in Rumuolumini to compensate for Ashanti. Fear and tension grew.

Ashanti’s associates allegedly held many meetings and settled on one prominent cult master in the area. They went for him, but two attacks failed to deliver, residents told this crime investigator. The man is very strong in all powers. Ashanti’s associates began to lose face, it was gathered. They now announced that they must take somebody, anybody.

Killing of Wobo

There lives a prominent but well respected man in Nkpor, a sub-community in Nkpor, Rumuelumini, outskirts of Port Harcourt, highly dominated by cult gangs. Rumuelumini is also noted as escape route for kidnappers. It houses the University of Education but most cult gangs that operate in the university love to live in the area. Far off are the Navy Barracks. The prominent man’s popular name is Kaska, and a street is named after him because he built up almost that street. He owns many buildings in Rumuelumini. His son is called Italian because he is a returnee, from Italy, of course. He is a young father, very neat, rich, and very fair in complexion. Many call him Oyibo. He speaks fluent English and is not only generous but well-mannered. He is a lover of children. His name is Wobo.

One evening, at about 9pm, Wobo walked thrice to the gate and came back, according to family sources. The wife questioned him for walking to and fro. He now told the wife to throw the car key to him from upstairs, according to account given later.

Wobo, popularly called ‘Uncle Wooombo’, by most children in his compound, according to sources in his neighbourhood, drove down to the next joint where there is a popular supermarket and suya spot. It was gathered that the son he loved most asked him to buy suya (cow meat steak) for him, and he allegedly firmly promised to do so. At the suya spot, he allegedly saw a neighbour who came out to the supermarket to pick biscuits for a nagging daughter. They greeted and Wobo asked her to take suya. That done, Wobo walked to his car to bring money to pay. Eye-witnesses said the next sound was gunshot, kpoi. The female neighbour was said to have sped away in high speed and straight into her apartment where she locked up everywhere, just like all others in the vicinity locked up. Those at the spot said they had seen boys hanging around Wobo’s car. As he dropped the suya and made to go, one tapped him on the shoulder. As he turned, the first shot rang out, straight on his forehead. The mark of the first shot was the only ugly mark on his face the day he was buried as he lay in state in his father’s compound. The second shot targeted his back skull; again, the double-shot concept of master-killers. Wobo fell down. People ran in different directions.

One of the assassins allegedly entered Wobo’s car, tried to start it, but the car stalled. The second hissed at the one trying to take the car, asking him to leave the car alone. A search later revealed that there was about N200,000 in the pigeon hole but the killers did not see it.

Soon, the entire Nkpor was on fire. Kaska Street was boiling. Wobo was leader of the local vigilante that was later disbanded by the state government. Most of the boys still had guns. These guns emerged immediately. Searching and shooting began, according to residents. That night, the invaders allegedly killed two other persons.

The Goodheart angle

Sources said the killing touched another dreaded killer in Nkpor with a name that means Goodheart, when translated from Ikwerre to English. He was believed to be so recklessly ruthless that he was once said to have met a man clearing grass at a newly acquired site. He asked the labourer for ‘marching ground’ (the levy extracted by hoodlums at construction sites that was abolished by law of the Rivers State House of Assembly about seven years earlier and seriously enforced by the past administration). The labourer was said to have said he was not the owner of the site. Goodheart was said to have left, only to reappear with a broken bottle. The labourer ran, shouting, but those around merely ran away. The assailant allegedly chased the labourer until he (labourer) fell down. The assailant allegedly kept stabbing his victim till he went limp, bleeding all over. Many who saw this site said it was cold-blooded killing because there was no provocation. Later, it was gathered, Ogbakiri youths gathered, angrily carried their brother, and went to the home of the suspected killer and smashed doors and dumped him with the weary mother of the suspect. The father was said to have gone into exile from threats from his killer-son. The aggrieved Ogbakiri youths told the women to produce her son or they would come back and kill her. The police was later brought into the matter and they apprehended later Goodheart.

The suspect remained in police custody for over one year. The mother kept disturbing the big guns of the area until one of them managed to bring him out. Three months later, Goodheart was said to be in a meeting where it was decided to kill any important Nkpor person to compensate for the death of Ashanti, and it turned out to be Wobo, somebody very dear to the man that helped to bring him out.

On the night that Wobo was assassinated, his killers had trekked to a Keke Napep they hired and took flight to where they hid their escape car. Their other members were said t have managed to kill another person. As the Nkpor boys combed round, it was gathered, they went to the home of Goodheart, but could not penetrate, not knowing he hid behind nearby plantains. As the last person was going back, Goodheart allegedly grabbed him from his hiding place, tried to shoot him without success and used his knife and stabbed him in the stomach vertically and horizontally, the way of cult killers. His bowel was ripped open widely and his intestines poured out. Blood spread everywhere. When the screaming ended, the killer allegedly called two of his boys who helped to drag the victim to the junction and dropped him there to avoid the corpse being seen near his house. Tension increased.

Resident fled Nkpor. Both groups kept boasting of how many people must die. Some families just returned on October 7, 2018. Most apartments however remain empty. A compound of about 10 apartments is said to now have only three occupants. Most taxi and bikes do not agree to go there to this day.

Police arrest

The killers of Wobo were said to have been feeling good, having compensated for the head of Ashanti, though Wobo or his father, Kaska, were not believed to have a hand in the killing. What mattered to Ashanto boys, it was said, was that an important head must go down. It happened to be the head of well-loved Wobo.

One of the killers who took away Wobo’s phone used it with pride. He did not know that detectives were tracking it. One day, he was tracked to a public place. They surrounded the place, and called the phone and it rang in his pocket. He was nabbed, sources said. The detectives allegedly tracked Goodheart too and nabbed him. The killer is said not to have named anybody yet as sponsor of Wobo’s killing, according to sources that talked to media men.

The spokesman of the Police in Rivers State, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, has not responded to media inquiries about the arrests.

Burial of Wobo

Late in September, Kaska buried his son, Wobo. He showed maturity and intelligence, community sources said. He brought back the corpse at about 6.30am. It rained all morning. By the time boys would come out much, the burial was over. It was gathered that boys were agitating but he calmed them down, telling them he did not want more bloodshed and more exodus from the community. “Let my son go in peace”. It ended there.

Weary mother

Wobo loved his mother to no end, it was said. He was the first son. The woman cannot be consoled, neighbour said. She is said to faint many times a week. She even falls from steps.

Wobo’s young wife is also said to be in bad shape. She adored him and loved him to no end. They were a happy family. The children are still very young, their love, still very tender.

Other children in the neighbourhood still can’t understand where went Uncle Wooobo. They miss his tender care, his cuddling them, his biscuits to the kids. Some of the children keep asking their mothers where he went to; their mums tell them he went to heaven. Now, some of them ask their mums to take them to heaven so they can see Uncle Wooobo and collect biscuit.

The women miss his care, too, his gifts, the soft money he advances to those he thought were too down. Wobo is no more, the care is no more. Many hearts are broken. Only heaven can repay.

This is how ruthless and heartless cult assassins can be. They take lives that matter and inflict pains that last. That is the bane of Port Harcourt, the new home of assassins and cult killers. Yet, Port Harcourt is not the worst city in Nigeria.