Gunmen suspected to be cultists on Monday night attacked a local drinking spot along the Custom Road area of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, killing three persons and leaving five others critically injured.
Among those killed was a 50-year-old landlord named Mr Niceman Agonebi, who is an in-law to a former deputy governor of the state, Peremobowei Ebibi.
A restaurant owner popularly called Madam Odey, had her jaw torn apart by a stray bullet from the guns of the rampaging cultists while two others received fatal gunshot wounds.
Eyewitnesses said that the gunmen arrived in the area in a commercial tricycle popularly known as Keke NAPEP at about 8pm and opened fire on their target, who was in the midst of people at the local drinking spot.
The gang members, who were reportedly armed with assault rifles, shot sporadically at everyone on the street as they carried out their deadly mission.
Some policemen together with members of the Bayelsa State Vigilante Service and State Volunteer chased the gunmen, who escaped through the Edepie/Tombia area of the state capital.
Mr Doubiye Alagba , Acting Chairman of the State Vigilante Service, , said that the state government had gathered useful information on the activities of the cult group involved in the killings and will ensure members were brought to book.
The incident is linked to the ongoing rivalry war between some members of the Icelanders and Bobos cult gangs known as De Bam.
Spokesperson for the police in the state, Asinim Butswat, confirmed the incident, adding that the perpetrators will soon be arrested and brought to book.