Unknown gunmen attacked the convoy of the Deputy Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Festus Ebea, on Sunday near Abudu in the Orhionmwon Local Government Area of the State.
The convoy which included himself, the Edo Assembly Minority Leader, Emmanuel Okoduwa; and Patrick Iluobe, were on their way to Benin City, the Edo State capital, from Esan in the Edo Central Senatorial District, when the assailants accosted them around 1pm.
Sources said that the lawmakers were returning from Ebele, Igueben Local Government Area of the state, where they had attended an investiture of the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, Anthony Anenih, by the Anglican Church.
The three were said to be inside an SUV belonging to one of the lawmakers and were returning to Benin in a convoy consisting of some other vehicles when the assailants stopped their vehicles at Abudu and opened fire on them.
Ebea said one of the gunmen was however killed during an exchange of fire that followed between the assailants and the security operatives attached to the deputy speaker.
One of the drivers in the convoy of the lawmakers was also said to have been shot and was receiving medical attention at an undisclosed hospital.
The Edo State chairman of the PDP, Dan Orbih, said the lawmakers’ vehicles were just ahead of his own when the incident happened and that it was obvious that the lawmakers were the primary targets of the attack.
Orbih said, “They (the lawmakers) were confronted with a hail of bullets. The event they attended was well publicised and it is obvious that the attack was aimed at them.
“We call on the police to investigate and find out the people behind the attack. However, we thank God for saving their lives from blood-thirsty political assassins.”
The PDP chairman, who said that a report had been made at the Abudu police station, said he was worried that the attack on the lawmakers occurred not quite long after some of the members of the Edo State House of Assembly had defected the PDP
When contacted on Sunday night, the Police Public Relations Officer, Edo State Command, Noble Umoh, said that he had not been briefed about the matter and that he was still trying to reach the Divisional Police Officer at the Abudu police station.