The severed head of a state legislator in Nigeria who went missing earlier this month in the southeastern state of Anambra was found by police.

The southeast is homeland of the Igbo ethnic group, and is agitating to secede from the rest of Nigeria. The banned Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) group has been leading those calls, reported CNN.

Anambra is a place where the government accused separatists of carrying out a spate of killings and kidnappings. According to BBC, kidnappers abducted Okechukwu Okoye, who was popularly known as "Okey Di Okay," on May 15. The legislator in the Anambra state assembly was with his aide, who also went missing on the same day.

According to The Guardian, Okoye and his aide, Cyril Chiegboka, were kidnapped at Aguata. The Toyota Sienna car that they were driving was abandoned on the road. The car was later recovered by cops, who said at the time that they had deployed operatives to begin a manhunt and track the kidnappers.

Anambra state police spokesman Tochukwu Ikenga said that the lawmaker's head was found in a park in the Nnewi south local government area on Saturday night. The spokesman shared that the lawmaker's head was found along Nnobi road, and that there is "no suspect in custody yet."

Anambra State Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, condemned the gruesome murder and has put up a 10 million naira ($24,000) reward for information on the lawmaker's murderers. On Saturday night, Soludo spoke through his press secretary, Christian Aburime, in a statement in which he condoled with the victim’s family. The statement read that Soludo received the news with "shock and deep sadness." He assured that Anambra will "soon be a hell for these criminals," and added that it will win against the forces of darkness. He urged the citizens to brace up for the all out war against the criminals.

Gunmen killed and beheaded two soldiers in neighboring Imo state earlier this month. The government accused IPOB, but they denied the charge. The violence in the southeast is another layer of insecurity in Nigeria. Kidnappings for ransom are common in the northwest of Nigeria. Islamist insurgency has also been going on for more than a decade in the northeast of the country.

Last August, Amnesty International said that Nigerian security forces had killed at least 115 people in the southeast in the first eight months of 2021. They arbitrarily arrested or tortured scores of others.

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