By Frank Oshanugor

An attempt by some gunmen identified as IPoB fighters to unleash mayhem and bloodletting in Owerri, Imo State capital in the morning hours of Sunday has been repelled by a combined efforts of police and military personnel leaving no fewer than five of the hoodlums dead in the process.

SECURITY gathered that the attempt was vehemently repelled by the forces of the Army, Police Special Forces and other supporting security agencies. 

The attackers who came in a white hummer bus were said to have attempted accessing the Imo State Police Command Headquarters through Works Layout around Alvan Nursery and Primary School Owerri but had a bloody fight with the security forces. 

They were reportedly  intercepted first by the Military at the outer perimeter cordon provided for the Police. Five hoodlums were Killed In Action (KIA), including Joseph Uka Nnachi alias King of Dragons said to be notorious.

Imo State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Bala Elkana in a statement, said one suspect Stanley Osinachi (30 years old) of Achi/Mberi , Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State was arrested and currently aiding investigation.

He confirmed that Dragon was 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 Eastern Security Network.

The police spokesman said Four AK 47 Rifles with 2000 rounds of live ammunition and large number of  explosives were recovered from the scene. The Rifles breech numbers were crossed checked and found to be the same Police Rifles that were stolen by the hoodlums from our Police station at Omuma on 31st May, 2021 which claimed the lives of four Policemen.”

Other items recovered from the gunmen included

  1. Assault (AR) Rifle Breach N0: 03018058
  2. Assault (AR) Rifle Breach N0: 070007055

III. Assault (AR) RIFLE Breach N0: 5801297

  1. Six locally fabricated Explosive Devices
  2. Police Beret Cap
  3. 7 AK47 Magazines fully loaded

VII. 1 military cap

VIII. 1 military cardigan (Polo)

  1. 1 Silver Coloured Mini Bus with Reg N0: WAM-8673 B ABD
  2. I Hummer Bus with Reg N0: KED-382 X Ladden with Explosive Devices.

Elkana said the same gang together with their members that were killed in previous operations were responsible for series of attacks in different parts of the State. 

“They are the same people in the viral video that blocked the flyover at Orji and killed three unarmed civilians, including a woman they brought out of their vehicle blindfolded.”

A Police Inspector sustained gun shot wounds during the Sunday morning exchange of fire. Elkana said he was  receiving medical attention. 

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police Imo State Command, Abutu Yaro, has commended the gallant effort of the security forces who stood firm and put their lives on the line to repeal the attack and restore sanity to Imo State.

The police boss also used the opportunity to condole with families of Policemen that lost their lives in the hands of the terror gangs over the last few weeks and those that sustained various degrees of injuries describing them “as the real heroes.”

The Commissioner of Police has also appreciated the Armed Forces and the DSS. He was quoted by Elkana as saying “the Department of State Services has constantly fed the joint operation with credible intelligence while the Military has consistently provided defence and outer cover to the Police. The synergy amongst all the services is superb and has culminated in the landmark victory recorded”.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police has called on all those in possession of weapons stolen from security agencies during several attacks in the state to return them to the nearest Police Station or Military installation not later than 12th  June 2021, to prevent the long arms of the law catching up with them.

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