According to the newspaper, the victims were killed in separate shooting incidents in Orlu town and Umuaka in Njaba local government area between Friday, April 2, and Saturday, April 3.
An eyewitness, Harisu Umaru Ishiaku, said the killers who were dressed in military uniform stormed the Afor Umuaka market around 8.30pm and attacked the victims.
He said four of the victims have lived in the area for many years just as suspected that those behind that attack are strangers, noting that there has never any issue between the deceased and the people of the Umuaka community.
Abdulkadir said Hausa traders in Orlu now live in fear, adding that some of them have relocated to Owerri, the state capital, Daily Nigerian also reported.
Reacting, Governor Hope Uzodinma’s aide on gender, vulnerable groups, and northern affairs, Sulaiman Ibrahim Sulaiman, said the state government and security agencies have waded into the matter.
He called on the residents of the affected communities to allow peace to reign, noting that Governor Uzodinma is disturbed by the incidents.