Ebonyi State Government, on Thursday, debunked allegations on social media that herdsmen were involved in the killing of a young lady in the Onicha Local Government Area of the state.
The body of the young lady, said to hail from Amaporo village, was found along a bush path between Agbebor, Isu and Onicha-Igboeze communities on Wednesday.
The situation caused tension in the area as the youths raised a search party to hunt for the killers.
However, their efforts were not successful as the killers were said to have allegedly escaped.
Pictures of the slain lady soon flooded the social media with unconfirmed allegations that herdsmen were responsible for the attacks.
In the pictures, the victim could be seen lying lifeless on a pile of firewood with her throat slit.
However, the state government in a statement by the Commissioner for Information, Uchenna Orji said there was no evidence so far to link the murder to herdsmen adding that there were no herdsmen residing in the area.
He said the victim was believed to have been attacked by criminal elements in the area while she was returning from a neighbouring village.
Orji said, “Our attention has been drawn to a trending social media post over a young girl found dead in a village in Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State and the impressions created over the circumstances of her death.
“While the state government condemns the ugly incident as unacceptable brutal murder of an innocent citizen by heartless criminals, it is imperative to note that contrary to the claims circulating in social media that Fulani herders were responsible for her gruesome murder, the community has not seen anything linking her death with the Fulani herdsmen, moreso there is no herders’ camp in the area”
“The unfortunate incident is the handiwork of yet-to-be-identified criminals who attacked and killed the deceased on her way, through a track road, back from where she went to process cassava at Agbegbor village in Isu community, Onicha Local Government Area.
“The community together with the security agencies has declared manhunt on the perpetrators. The State Government sends its condolences to the victim’s family and assures them that government will not leave any stone unturned in unmasking the killers of the young girl,” the commissioner said.
Meanwhile, the Ebonyi Command of the Nigeria Police Force, on Thursday, confirmed the incident.
According to the Command’s spokesperson, SP Chris Anyanwu, the lady’s underwear was missing raising suspicion by the villagers that she was raped before being killed.
“We have commenced investigation into the incident. People are alleging that she was raped because they couldn’t find her underwear”
“But only a forensic analysis can reveal if anything like that happened,” he said.