The relative of a US Army Veteran who was brutally murdered in Nigeria has spoken out about his death.
Nigerian-born, Chuks Okebata was murdered in his hometown Umuduruorie in Mbaitoli on 12 January 2017. The 35-year-old, US military personnel had left his base in Philadelphia on 22 December 2016.
Okebata travelled home in the company of two of his friends. He opened his new home 4 days after travelling. The US military personnel had initially moved around in the company of armed escorts.
However, when his friends left for the US on 29 December 2016, Okebata ended the armed escort service. Okebata felt that he would be safe as he had no problems with anyone. He also walked around with his own service pistol to ensure his safety.
The 35-year-old’s mother also went home for the season and warned him against moving around freely on his own. At around 3pm on 12 January 2017, a group of heavily armed young men ambushed him.
Okebata’s cousin, Lilian Ndiukwu, says that the assailants “came shooting sporadically in front of his house”. The army veteran was ordered to come down from his car. Okebata was in the company of two of his cousins, who were ordered to lie down on the car.
The US Military personell was forced into the boot of the assassins’ car. He was then driven out to a junction where caskets are produced. Okebata was then shot in the head several times.
Ndiukwu, says that Okebata’s “entire body was riddled with bullets”. Ndiukwu says “they killed my brother like an ordinary animal. He did not deserve to die that way”.
Okebata, “loved everything about his hometown” and always looked forward to visiting. People within the village are reportedly still in shock and are afraid to go out.
Nigerian police are investigating the murder.