Security forces repel attacks, kill suspected hoodlums in Imo, Delta, others

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The restiveness in Imo state continued Sunday with security agents drawn from the army, police and related agencies repelling attack on the state police command in Owerri, the state capital.

However, the state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategies, Declan Mbadiwe Emelumba, was not that lucky as Ubulu-Ihejiofor, his country home in Oru West local government area of the state, was razed by some unidentified gunmen in the early hours of Sunday.

And in yet another attack in Delta state, a police station was set ablaze with police killing six suspected kidnappers in a fierce gun duel.

The tragic developments, have heightened tension in the entire South-east and the adjoining states.

Confirming the botched attack on the Imo state police command in a statement in Owerri, the command’s spokesman, Bala Elkana said:  “The attackers, who came in a white Hummer bus, wanted to access the Command Headquarters through Works Layout around Alvan Nursery and Primary School Owerri but had a bloody fight with the security forces. 

 “They were first intercepted by the Military at the outer perimeter cordon provided for the Police. Five of the hoodlums were killed in action (KIA) including Joseph Uka Nnachi alias King of Dragons. 

“One suspect Stanley Osinachi ‘m’ 30 years old of Achi/Mberi , Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State was arrested and presently aiding investigation. He confirmed that Dragon is the leader of the gang in Imo State reporting to their supreme leader Nnamdi Kanu. He stated that, they belong to the proscribed IPOB and ESN.”

Elkana further said four AK 47 rifles with 2000 rounds of live ammunition and large number of explosives were recovered from the scene and that the rifles breech numbers were crosschecked and found to be the same police rifles stolen by the hoodlums from the Police station at Omuma on 31st May, 2021, during which four policemen were killed.

He also said, as found in a viral video, it was the same gang that blocked the Orji Flyover some days ago during which three people were killed, including a woman who was blindfolded.

The police spokesman also quoted the Commissioner of Police in the state,   Abutu Yaro, as commending the gallant efforts of the security forces “who put their lives on the line to ensure the restoration of normalcy in the state.”

He said the CP pleaded with those still in possession of stolen weapons to return them to the nearest police stations.

Other recovered items were: Assault (AR) Rifle Breach No: 03018058;

Assault (AR) Rifle Breach N0: 070007055; Assault (AR) RIFLE Breach No: 5801297: Six locally fabricated Explosive Devices; Police Beret Cap;

7 AK47 Magazines fully loaded; 1 military cap; 1 military cardigan (Polo);

1 Silver Coloured Mini Bus with Reg N0: WAM-8673 B ABD; I Hummer Bus with Reg No: KED-382 X laden with Explosive Devices.

In a related development, Blueprint gathered that two houses in the compound of the state’s commissioner for information and strategies, were set ablaze.

The development, Blueprint gathered, left villagers running helter-skelter and scampering into the bush for safety as news of the arrival of security forces filtered the air.

Mr Emelumba confirmed the development when contacted by one of our correspondents.

 Similar incident occurred at Ibiasoegbe, a neighbouring village three days ago where three persons, including a policeman was killed.

 Emelumba is believed to be a member of the kitchen cabinet of the Hope Uzodimma administration and was one of the commissioners who survived a recent cabinet reshuffle by the governor.

Meanwhile, the Delta state Police command Sunday killed six suspected armed robbers and kidnappers terrorising the state.

The hoodlums were engaged in a gun duel by the police operatives in their hideout, during which six of them were killed on the spot.

Confirming the incident, the state police public relations officer, DSP Bright Edafe said, “At about 1435hrs on 5/6/21, acting on a tip off, the commissioner of police Delta state, deployed joint tactical teams of the command who stormed the hideout of suspected armed robbers/kidnappers, engaged the hoodlums in a serious gun duel.”

He said the hoodlums numbering about 20, stormed Ashaka police station in the early hours of Sunday and set it ablaze along with the patrol vehicle.