EMMANUEL MGBEAHURUIKE reports the spectacle the Imo State Police Command made last week of criminals in the state.
Imo State, which prides itself as the “Eastern Heart land,” has over the years been turned into a den of robbers, hired killers and kidnappers. There nefarious activities have denied innocent and law-abiding residents of the state, their deserved sleep and rest of mind. However, gradually and steadily, the Imo tribe of anti-social elements are losing both the war and the battle to the determined police command in the state, led by Chris Ezike.
Just last week, luck ran out on seven suspected kidnappers, who were nicked by state police command. The arrests were executed by the operatives of the state’s Anti-kidnapping Unit of the police command. The operatives stormed the den of the kidnappers in Avu Forest, in Owerri West local government area and nabbed the seven suspected kidnappers and rescued three victims who were kidnapped for ransom.
The commissioner of police, CP. Chris Ezike, disclosed that the police operatives were confronted by the gang of the kidnap suspects who were holding three kidnapped victims for ransom. The police commissioner stated that as the police team combed the Avu Forest, the kidnap suspects engaged them in a gun battle.
Ezike, however, stated that the arrest of the suspects followed a superior fire power of the police. The three rescued kidnap victims who were tied and blind-folded in the forest were unhurt in the operation. The names of the rescued kidnap victims were given as Francis Ugorji from Awaka, Owerri North, Ahanonu Chika, from Works Layout Mbieri Road Owerri; Chibuike Nwaozo of Awomanma in Oru-East local government area, kidnapped along with Ahanonu Chika.
The arrested kidnap suspects are Chukwuebuka Augustine, 22 years from Egbeada, Owerri; Romanus Ukabi 28 years from Isiagu Ebonyi State, Ikechukwu Nwachukwu 34 years from Ezinihitte Mbaise local government area; Chikamso Onyewuchi 25yr from Ejemekuru in Oguta local government area; Collins Nwaekwe 24 years from Obizi Aboh Mbaise local government area; Chibuike Maduba 26 years from Umukoronekwenye Ngor Okpala local government area; and Ikechukwu Okere 20 years from Umuokoronopelu Ngor Okpala local government area local government area.
Recovered from the suspects are a Toyota Highlander SUV (ash colour), belonging to one of the victims and used in operations; two wraps of dried weed, suspected to be Indian hemp; two matchetes, pieces of cloths used in blindfolding victims; four GSM handsets belonging
to the suspects; one blue pair of jeans, belonging to one of the victims, one empty bottle of ‘seegrams’ hot drinks and two empty bottles of ‘one man hot drink.’
In a related development the state’s police command also nabbed a four-man robbery gang who terrorize the state capital and its environs.The paraded suspected robbers, included Ugochukwu Onyema, (30) who hails from Umunkwu Umuezeopara in Isuala Mbano local government area; Nicholas Akujiobi (33), of Umuonumo, Uzoagba in Ikeduru local government area; Ugochukwu Ohale (29), of Umuawuaka Emii in Owerri North Council Area and Chibuzor Onyem,(33) from Uzogba Ikeduru, all in Imo State.
The Imo State commissioner of police, disclosed that the operatives of the command on April 23, 2017 arrested the suspects during a routine patrol along Naze in Owerri North local government area of the state.
According to him, “The suspects were arrested while conveying a stolen 50KVA sound proof perkins power generating set in a Nissan Wagon vehicle with registration number, KRD 687 AM.”
The commissioner of police further disclosed that investigation revealed that the stolen generating set belonged to Amanba Ebikwo community in Ikeduru council area. He said that the police had concluded their investigations and that the suspects would be charged to court.
Fielding questions from journalists, one of the robbery suspects, Ugochukwu Onyema confessed to the crime. He said, “We are guilty of the crime. We stole it to sell and make money which we want to lavishly spend.”
Similarly, 31 persons were apprehended in the state for engaging in cult related activities. According to the state’s police public relations officer, DSP Andrew Enwerem, operatives of Orji Police Division received a distress call that a group of cultists were rampaging and shooting indiscriminately in Orji Comprehensive Secondary School, during an initiation activity.
The command revealed that a combined team of operatives arrived in the vicinity and on sighting the police operatives, the hoodlums opened fire, while fleeing in different directions. Thirty-one of them were later apprehended.
The PPRO disclosed that the suspects were undergoing interrogation at the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (SCIID)
The state commissioner of police, who coordinated the operation disclosed that rooting out cultism and cult-related activities in the state was a top priority in his road map to fighting crime and criminality in the state. He stated that those arrested would be charged to court after investigation.
The names of the paraded suspected cultists are: Asuzu Tochukwu, Okafor Anyanwu Charles, Chimezie Nwanezi, Anaefu Chizoba, Enegba Nelson, Umeh Chimezie, Obiji Obumneke, Ubani Lawrence, Okpara Chimezie, Amouha Ikenna, Njoku Chidi, Ajaegbu Gabriel Golden, Alaforo Walter, Akpasuo Chimereijem, Okpara Jude Chijike, Ukachi Samuel, Okorie Christus Canice, Gaboh Lucky and 13 others.