From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Gunmen on Friday night invaded the Divisional Police Station at Agwa in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State, killing four officers on duty and a commercial motorcyclist, whose wife was also shot and is in critical condition in the hospital.
This is coming on the heels of the Imo State Police Command announcing the killing of a notorious robbery kingpin, Osita Ogbuiri popularly known as ‘Shina Rambo’ from Mmahu in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of the state in the penultimate week.
Ogbuiri, an escapee from the Imo prison, according to a statement by the state police spokesman, Michael Abattam, has also been involved in various criminal activities in the state, including kidnapping.
He said that he was also the leader of a deadly cult group known as ‘De-gbam,’ terrorising the neighborhood of Ohaji/Egbema.
According the police, the notorious criminal was caught after an intelligence report, which led the officers to his hideout with his gang at Utuma/Ukwa, a boundary between Abia and Cross River states, and was later killed in a gun duel when his gang engaged the police.
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Barde, said that the corpse of the notorious bandit have been deposited at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Owerri, noting that concerted efforts are being made to arrest other members of the gang at large.
Narrating what happened at the Agwa police station, a source from the community who does not want his name on print told Sunday Sun that the incident which happened between 10:00 and 11:00 p.m saw the gunmen who came with three vehicles broke into the premises of the station, shooting sporadically.
“They came in a tipper and two Sienna vehicles, shooting indiscriminately and we all ran into our houses. It was around 10:00 and 11:00p.m. It was this morning that we heard that they were criminals and they attacked the police division, killed four policemen and burnt the vehicles there.”
Another source also said: “I was already inside when I started hearing sounds of gunshots. I didn’t bother coming outside because it was safer to stay indoors than to come outside. It was this morning that we heard that the Agwa Divisional Police headquarters was attacked. Four policemen were killed. Two male officers were shot dead while two female police officers were burnt to death.”
The sources narrated that the gunmen after wreaking havoc at the station went to the house of a commercial motorcyclist and shot him and his wife, but luckily the wife did not die.
One of the officers killed, according to our source, is said to be a new recruit, not more than two weeks on the job.
Confirming the incident in a statement issued yesterday, the Imo State Police Public Relations Officer, Abattam, alleged that members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) were responsible for the attack.
He said: “On 05/8/2022 at about 2300 hours, hoodlums suspected to be members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its militia affiliate, Eastern Security Network (ESN) attacked Agwa Police Station in their numbers.
“The hoodlums who came in two vehicles and a tipper, shooting sporadically, used a tipper vehicle in forcing the gate open to gain entrance into the station, throwing Improvised Explosives Devices (IEDS) and petrol bombs.
“The police operatives of the division joined by the Command’s Tactical Teams gave the hoodlums a stiff resistance, engaging them in a gun duel. The hoodlums who were fatally hit with a lot of casualty on their side, retreated, escaping in their vehicles.”
However, he added the fire only affected a parked private car and some motorcycles and was later put off, preventing it from causing more damage.
“Fortunately, the building was not affected. In the attack, two suspects in custody escaped, four police officers gallantly paid the supreme price, while one rifle is yet to be recovered. Meanwhile, the area have been fortified with enough police operatives,” Abattam said.