Reps Deputy Spokesman, Philip Agbese Escape ”Assassination’ in Benue


The Deputy Spokesperson of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Hon. Philip Agbese, on Thursday, escaped assassination attempt on him, as a military operation came to his rescue.

Agbese, who currently represents Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency of Benue State, was said to have been attacked in Igumale, the headquarters of his own local government area of Ado, during a constituency outreach organised to mark the Easter celebration.

It was also gathered that, for the swiftly intervention of the ‘Operation Whirlwind’ of the Nigerian Armed Forces on peace keeping mission in the area, the assassins would have had their ways.

Some of the suspects were said to have been arrested by the military operation and are currently giving useful information.

“Thanks to the swift response of security operatives present at the scene, the Enone Representative managed to evade harm, averting a potential tragedy. Several of the suspected perpetrators were promptly apprehended, shedding light on the disturbing chain of events”, an witness said.

Our correspondent made attempt to speak with the Lawmaker, who was obviously unable to make serious comments on the incidence.

“I am in shock! I am in a great shock!! I can’t talk to you right now, please”, Agbese told our Correspondent last night.

But Mr. Lawrence Oduh, a media Aide to Hon. Agbese, confirmed the attack, adding that the arrested suspects, have also made stunning revelations to the military operation during the preliminary investigation which was witnessed by the locals.

According to Oduh, the suspects fingered Ado Local Government Council Chairman, Hon. Agbese Charles Onazi and Deputy Speaker, Benue State House of Assembly, Hon. (Mrs.) Lami Danladi Ogenyi during the interrogation.

“Hoodlums suspected to be aligned with the Ado Local Government Caretaker Chairman, Agbese Onazi, allegedly orchestrated the sinister plot in what appears to be a targeted attack”, he said.

He added that, “initial interrogations of the apprehended individuals have revealed damning information implicating both the Ado Local Government Chairman and the Deputy Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Hon. Mrs. Lami Ogenyi, in the heinous scheme.

“Shockingly, one of the culprits was found in possession of Hon. Mrs. Ogenyi’s official vehicle, raising serious questions about her involvement in the attempted assassination.

“The safety and security of public officials and constituents alike hang in the balance as the community grapples with the implications of this brazen attack”.

As at the time of filling this report Friday morning, no official comment from the military operations in Benue State or the Army authority on the matter, while the Deputy Speaker, Benue House of Assembly could not be reached for comments.

Our Corespondent, however, contacted the Council Chairman, Onazi on phone Thursday night, who promised to call back within 5 minutes as he was said to be on active phone with a security advisor to Governor Hyacinth Alia over the matter.

“Sorry, you just intercepted my call with the security advisor to the governor. We are on line talking. His phone just tripped off. I want to brief him on the matter. I’ll finish with him and call you back?
Please, let me call you back. Just give me, like five minutes, please”, Onazi told our Corespondent.

He, however, switched off his cell phone afterwards and could not be reached through the night, even until the time of this report.

It would be recalled that the Benue State ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been enmeshed with crisis since Governor Alia took over the affairs of the State, with Members of the National Assembly Caucus from the state at the forefront.

Agbese, who is the Spokesperson of the Caucus was seen in December 2023, removing the portrait of Governor Alia from his office in National Assembly, the move which did not go down well with the state government and some stakeholders of the party in the state.