Pandemonium broke out at Nguru village in Nsukka, Enugu State, on Tuesday, when a man shot his uncle dead at a masquerade festival.
Boniface Ukwueze was shot dead by his nephew Chebube Ukwueze, during the Omabe Masquerade Festival, according to an eyewitness.
A member of the community, who did not want his name published, said that the accident brought the festival to a sudden end.
He said that people were dancing and celebrating with the masquerades when Chebube, who was holding a rifle, hit his leg on a stone and in the process of falling, touched the trigger which killed the deceased.
“When we celebrate the masquerade festival, some people usually carry dane guns and shoot it into the air to add spice to the celebration,” said the witness. “We have been doing this festival since our forefathers but it is unfortunate that this year’s turned into a tragedy. It was an accidental discharge; the nephew had no intention of killing his uncle.”
Speaking on the tragedy, the councilor representing the area in Nsukka LGA, Mr Nick Obayi, described it as unfortunate, noting that the community handed over the suspect to the police to avoid massive arrest.
“We know it was an accidental discharge, so the community will work closely with the police to ensure that the matter is resolved amicably,” he said. “It was an accident. The nephew had no intention of killing the uncle. We decided to hand him over to the police to avoid massive arrest.”
He said the tragedy would not prevent the community from continuing the festival since everybody knew the killing was not intentional.
Igwe Patrick Okoro, the traditional ruler of Nkpunano community, confirmed the incident, describing it as an accident that occurred during the festival. “The community has been celebrating this festival for a long time, we have not witnessed this tragedy before,” he said.
Ebere Amaraizu, the police spokesman in Enugu State, confirmed the incident, adding that the police had commenced investigations into the matter.