In a shocking incident on Christmas Eve, Hillary Nosa Odia, a broadcast journalist associated with Independent Television and Radio (ITV), was fatally shot by suspected cultists near 2nd East Circular in Benin City, the capital of Edo State.
Odia, who worked with ITV, left the office at 4 pm on Sunday, only for news of his death to reach ITV premises later that night, leaving colleagues stunned. Sources revealed that the killing was a result of ongoing cult clashes in the Esigie area, off East Circular Road. Disturbingly, the late journalist’s brother had also fallen victim to a similar attack last year, emphasizing the severity of the situation.
A colleague described Odia as a jovial and hardworking individual, expressing shock and calling on the police to swiftly investigate the incident and apprehend the culprits. According to the source, Odia had plans to change his residence and had recently taken an exam at Edo State Polytechnic in Usen.
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State Council, extended condolences to ITV’s management and staff over Odia’s tragic death. In a statement, the NUJ urged security agencies, especially the Nigeria Police, to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the journalist’s murder. The union called on journalists to delve into the incident and ensure comprehensive coverage.
The NUJ’s statement, signed by Comrade Festus Alenkhe (Chairman) and Andy Egbon (Secretary), expressed condolences to Odia’s family and encouraged them to find solace in the positive legacy he leaves behind.
Confirming the incident, the Public Relations Officer of the Edo State Police Command, Chidiebube Nwabuzor, acknowledged the killing while stating that details would be provided after preliminary investigations on Tuesday. When asked about any prior threats reported by the deceased, Nwabuzor noted the daily influx of cases handled by the police, indicating that the specific details were not immediately available.