An unknown gunman, on Wednesday, invaded the Seven-Day Adventist Church in Azia, Anambra State, while the mid-week service was ongoing and murdered three members of a family.
In addition to killing the husband, wife and daughter, he attacked a fourth person who sustained serious injury.
The names of those affected have been given as Kenneth Emekwasianya, 70, Grace Emekwasianya, 56, his wife, Chioma Emekwasianya, their daughter, 36, and Emeka Ntukokwu, 42, a secondary school teacher.
It was gathered that Kenneth was a businessman based in Azia, Grace, a headmistress at Ubom Community Primary School, Azia, while Chioma was a post-graduate student at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University in Anambra State.
The gunman was said to have come to the church premises with a motorcycle, went straight for his targets, seized Kenneth’s car key and sped off with the vehicle.
It was further learnt that vigilantes in the area who spotted Kenneth’s car at Okija after it developed a fault, alerted the police.
According to a local news site, Real News, the perpetrators of the crime left a note stating that Kenneth was killed because he collected the money that the Niger Delta Power Holding Company paid to the community as compensation for the destruction of an economic tree and other structures while the company implemented the National Integrated Power Project, NIPP, in Azia.
“Keep on running but you cannot hide all the time. You took our money,” the note was said to have read.
However, the police say they think that the note was just a diversionary tactic on the part of the assailants.
The Nigerian Police Force in Ihiala, Anambra State, have launched an investigation following a formal report on Wednesday and a reinforcement team have been drafted to the community.