French couple, Mr. Nagnan Denis, 52, and Mrs. Nagnan Mee Lavaud Liana, 53, have been attacked by gunmen in Ebonyi State.
The incident occurred around 8p.m. on Monday in Abomege, Onicha Local Government Area.
Mr Denis, who was allegedly shot in the leg and macheted on various parts of his body, died on the spot.
His wife, it was gathered, was injured.
Governor Dave Umahi broke the news at a meeting with staff and students of Ebonyi State University (EBSU), Abakaliki.
According to him, the tourists got to Abaomege in the night from where they were to connect Calabar, Cross River State. They went into a bush to set up their tent and rest.
Umahi siad: “As they were having their rest, gunmen stormed the area and shot them. The gunmen took one thousand, one hundred and sixty euros of their money and N13,000.
‘’Sad enough, they shot and killed the husband of the woman. The body has been deposited in the mortuary.
‘’The wife was so devastated. What we did was to put her in hotel accommodation and gave her some money.”
The Governor described the incident as “unfortunate” and warned that anywhere there is cultism and other violent crimes, the council chairman and development centre coordinator will be sacked.
’’All these robbery and violent crimes is a by product of cultism,” Umahi said.
Police Commissioner Maigari Dikko said 32 suspects were yesterday arrested in connection with the incident.
He said they had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) for further interrogation and prosecution – where necessary.
The commissioner, who described the victims as tourists who had travelled through several countries to get to Nigeria, added that about 1,150 euros and N13,000 were stolen from them by the hoodlums.
“Thirty-two suspects were arrested in the early hours of this morning (yesterday) and they are currently being transferred to the SCID for investigation and screening,” Dikko said.
According to him, the wife of the victim who reported the incident to the police, said she could identify the people who killed her husband if she saw them.
Dikko said: “We got the report yesterday from the DPO of Onicha LGA about the French nationals, a couple; they were tourists who left their country on December 2014 and arrived Nigeria through Badagry on 23rd of May, that is last saturday
“They passed through Abeokuta, Benin, Onitsha, Enugu to Ebonyi with their vehicle a one door with Caravan on it; they were passing through Ebonyi to Calabar when the incident happened.
“They arrived Abomega in the night and decided to spend the night there. According to the deceased’s wife, her husband had complained that he was tired and secondly it was night.
“As fate would have it, they didn’t report their presence to any law enforcement agents around, but decided to look for a place that was naturally endowed with shelter, a place that has tree and so they went two kilometres off the road to pass the night in a location near the bush.
“They found a location where we have a quarry site and decided to camp there; unfortunately, I believe that as they were going there, they were seen and, according to the wife of the deceased, when they were at the location, a motorcyclist, together with a man, asked to know who they were.
“Unless investigation proves otherwise, we are thinking that the motorcyclist was the informant to the hoodlums. After an hour, he left, three people came into the car and by then they had already erected their tent on top of the vehicle.”
Dikko, who noted that the Police Headquarters and the French Embassy had already been informed about the incident, added that the deceased was shot by the hoodlums during an argument as they further inflicted machete-cut injuries on him.
He said arrangements were on to ensure that Denis’ body is taken to France without delay. He promised that the police will clampdown on the miscreants.