Seven masquerades, popularly called Oriokpa, were yesterday arrested at Ikpa junction, along Enugu road, Nsukka, Enugu State, for allegedly manhandling a passerby and obstructing peace.

The masquerades, while observing their rites, allegedly caught the passerby, whose name was not provided, and beat him up. The commotion caused gridlock along the expressway.

An okada rider, Chiemelie Ugwu, told THE WHISTLER that, “The masquerades were moving around and entertaining people, even though they had canes. However, the mild celebration turned violence when they started beating a man who was going his own way. In think the man refused to give them money, or spoke wrong words to them.

“They pushed him to the gutter, making him sustain injuries.

“However, luck ran out on them when operatives of the Police Anti-Kidnap Squad were alerted. They came and arrested them, while some others ran away. The arrested masquerades were actually begging and crying.”

Our correspondent gathered that they were arraigned at an Nsukka Magistrates’ Court and remanded at the Nsukka Correctional Centre till October 7th 2021 when their matter would be heard.

According to a facebook post @Enemona Innocent Usman, “Immediately the Oriokpa masquerades heard the judgement, they all started crying inside the court premises.”

Residents of Nru community have been commenting on the development. Kanayo Ndu said, “It’s a pity that this kind of thing still happens. Some years ago, there was violence associated with these masquerades.

“Stakeholders solved the problem, with a warning to masquerades and the promoters to maintain peace. Since then, there has been peace until yesterday.”

Ifesinachi, a mechanic, said, “It is unbelievable that this can happen again. The perpetrators may not be from our place. Some people come from far distances to cause problems in order to spoil others’ reputation. The hand of the law will catch them.”

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