Gunmen invade Imo police station, kill 4 officers, Okada rider
…As operatives neutralise Shina Rambo, robbery kingpin, in state
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.
…Security operatives descend on Izombe community, injure 10, raze property
From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
The Izombe Community in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State has lamented the invasion of its community, which led to the burning and looting of shops, as well as innocent persons sustaining both bullet and machete cut injuries.
It would be recalled that gunmen suspected to be members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra/Eastern Security Network (ESN) in the early hours of Saturday had clashed with the police at the Agwa Police Divisional headquarters in Oguta council.
But the Izombe people accused the police of invading their community, claiming that it has nothing to do with what happened in Agwa community.
Pauly Igbokwe, who decried the destruction of property in the Izombe community said: “Agwa where this the incident happened is not close to Umuokwu, Izombe village.
“The Izombe villages that share boundaries with Agwa are Amakpuruedere and Amaudara both in Oboebor Autonomous Community. Umuokwu and Ugbele where the police operatives burnt some buildings and set two vehicles ablaze are in Aborshi and Umunwama autonomous communities respectively.
“In one of the buildings burnt is directly opposite the Holy Family Catholic Church, Izombe, where Mrs Anuli Nzeocha, a young widow of about 36 years of age was in the church attending combined Saturday Mass for CMO and CWO when she was informed that they have set her father’s building where her chemist shop was on fire. My question is: what role did she play in such a crime that took place in Agwa if really that was the reason?”
He decried the repeated invasion of the Izombe community by security operatives.
“It was October last year that more than 150 buildings were completely burnt and destroyed in Umuokwu, Umuorji and Ndioko all in Aborshi Izombe by soldiers over dispute they had with village boys.
“Nothing has been done on the colossal damage innocent people suffered, and yet another attack is launched on the Izombe again,” he said.
Igbokwe said that they were still at the first Saturday combined Mass of Catholic Men Organisation and Catholic Women Organisation at Holy Family Catholic Church Izombe when they received calls on the attack.
He appealed to the state government to look into repeated incidents of mass destruction of innocent people’s houses in Izombe and put a stop to it.
Also, Sampson a victim of the invasion said that at least 10 persons sustained gun and machete cut injuries with seven vehicles burnt when the combined team of police, army and Ebubeagu security aperatives stormed the Izombe community.
He said: “The heavily armed team equally destroyed and set ablaze about four buildings and 18 fully stocked shops located in the commercial communities of Umuokwu and Ugbele Izombe on Saturday. I was inside the room when I started hearing gunshots and violent noise at the shops section of our compound.
“My wife even saw the heavily armed security operatives and they pointed gun at her and ordered her to get inside.
“When their noise became less, we came out, and noticed that the shops section of our house were destroyed with seven vehicles burnt in Ugbele village alone.”
Similarly, Uka disclosed that one Ethelbert Ozor, Simeon Onyekador, and six others sustained gun and machete cut injuries inflicted on them by the group in Ugbele.
They called on the state government to always thoroughly scrutinize intelligence gathered and track the people suspected to be involved in a crime and pick them up rather than destroying at random innocent people’s houses.
Tension in Ekiti community as gunmen kidnap 4-year-old boy, machetes father
From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The people of Itaji/Ijelu- Ekiti are currently enveloped in fear over the kidnap of a four-year-old boy, Oluwadarasimi Omojola, who was kidnapped on Friday evening.
The Owajumu of Omu -Ekiti, Oba Gabriel Ogundeyi, who confirmed the incident said that “the boy was returning from Ayede-Ekiti with his father, Boluwaji Omojola, who managed to escape after sustaining a severe cutlass injury from the abductors; he is currently receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital.”
Oba Ogundeyi added that “security operatives and local hunters had since been mobilised to go after the kidnappers to rescue the boy.”
When contacted, the State Commandant, Ekiti Amotekun Corps, Brig.-Gen., Joe Komolafe (rtd), who confirmed the incident said: “The incident happened yesterday evening (Friday). My men and other security agents are in the bush looking for the kidnappers and to rescue the boy.”
Kogi: Again, bandits kill 1 Indian, their 2 police escorts, 2 coy staff, abduct 3 others
From Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
Ajaokuta Local Government Area of Kogi State has come under serious threat again as gunmen suspected to be bandits on Friday evening waylaid a vehicle conveying workers of the West Africa Ceramic Company, Ajaokuta, killing six of them and abducted about three of the workers.
The killed workers include two Indian expatriates, two of their police escorts and two drivers of the company who were ambushed as they closed from work on Friday.
The attack in the area was the third in the last one week as three policemen and five vigilance members were killed in the first incident while gunmen invaded the residence of a businessman in the heart of the town and his three children kidnapped in the second incident.
As at the time of filing this report, it was not clear about the actual number of the workers abducted by the gunmen and carried to the forest neither were the names of the affected victims given.
However, the Kogi State Police Command through its spokesman, Willy Aya, in a statement confirmed the incident, adding that the state Commissioner of Police, Edward Egbuka, has visited the scene for an on-the-spot assessment and has equally ordered the deployment of additional mobile force and counter-terrorism unit to the area.
The statement reads in part: “Meanwhile, two expatriates, two company drivers and two police inspectors died in the exchange of fire with the hoodlums, before the area commander and a detachment of military in the area reinforced to the scene of incident, and the attackers fled.
“The CP assures that the command is committed to working in synergy with other security agencies as well as patriotic stakeholders to make the state a safe and secure place for all and sundry.
“He has further tasked the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) to commence investigations into the unfortunate incident so as to unravel the remote and immediate causes of the attack with a view to bringing the perpetrators to book.”