Imo killing spreads, hoodlums behead 2, raze ex-AG’s home

The Imo State Police Command Wednesday confirmed an attack on the country home of a lawmaker representing Orsu constituency in the state House of Assembly, Mr Ekene Nnodimele.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Abutu Yaro, confirmed this to journalists in Owerri, the state capital.

Yaro said during the attack which took place at about 1.00 am Wednesday, the hoodlums also beheaded a security guard on duty in the compound.

He said investigation was ongoing to unravel the cause and perpetrators of the attack and bring them to book.

Yaro said: “We can confirm that there was an attack on the country home of Nnodimele, resulting in the death of a security guard on duty who appeared to have been beheaded.

“Also, the country home of the immediate past Attorney General of the state, Cyprian Akaolisa, was also attacked and investigation is also ongoing.”

Addressing journalists in his hometown, Obibi, Awo–Idemili community, Orsu local government area of the state, Mr Nnodimele also confirmed that a security guard on duty in his compound was beheaded.

Nnodimele said the guard, attached to a private security firm met his death when he tried to resist the armed hoodlums.

The lawmaker expressed shock at receiving news of the attack, saying his constituents were neither violent nor rancorous.

He urged operatives to beef up the security of lives and property in the local government area and unravel circumstances surrounding the attack.

 The lawmaker said: “It was very shocking news to me because my aged parents were there. It is not in our culture to take or end life arbitrarily so I believe it is the handiwork of foreign mercenaries and I leave everything to Almighty God.

“My security man was not just killed but was beheaded. I call on security operatives to strengthen security in Orsu LGA and ensure that lives and property are protected,”

Nnodimele further pledged continued support for the state government while urging his constituents to remain law-abiding and cooperate with law enforcement agencies so as to return peace to the area.

The lawmaker also confirmed an attack on Akaolisa’s country home in the same council.

He said that gunshots were heard at the home of the erstwhile Commissioner for Justice before the hoodlums moved to his own home.

Nnodimele, however, added that although parts of the former commissioner’s house were burnt, no lives were lost in the attack.

Zamfara gun duel

 In a related development, the Zamfara state Police Command has confirmed the killing of  four police officers during an exchange of fire with bandits  who blocked Labar Bakura-Sokoto Highway  and robbed many passengers last Sunday.

 The command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Muhammad Shehu disclosed this to journalists in a telephone interview Wednesday  in Gusau, the state capital.

 Blueprint reports that in the fire exchange, a civil defence personnel was also killed by the hoodlums with another critically injured.

The police image maker said during the encounter, many of the bandits were nuetralised, adding , six AK-47 rifles  were recovered as exhibits  from them.

He said the ambush followed the killing of an unspecified number of bandits who blocked the highway Sunday afternoon.

“They ambushed our troops killing four policemen, one Civil Defence personnel and another was critically injured but receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital,” Shehu stated.

He further revealed that the command had reinforced and was on the trail of the criminals who had fled to the forest.

The command spokesman said another six AK-47 rifles belonging to the ambushed police personnel were also recovered.

The hoodlums, Blueprint further gathered, also set ablaze a patrol vehicle belonging to a private company in the area.

 The police image maker however said normalcy had since returned to the area.

Driver killed in convoy 

 In yet another development, some gunmen suspected to be kidnappers, reportedly attacked the convoy escorting an expatriate of Hartland construction in Uhunmwode local government area of Edo state. 

Blueprint gathered that the incident occurred Tuesday at Ute community on the notorious Benin-Auchi/Oluku Bypass.

A driver with the construction firm, simply identified as Buhari, and two police officers were allegedly shot by the rampaging gunmen.

 It was gathered that the driver (Buhari) and the policemen picked the expatriate at  Benin airport and were heading towards Auchi when the gunmen  suddenly appeared from the bush and opened fire on their vehicle.

 The gunmen were said to have thereafter whisked the expatriate away to an unknown destination. 

The state Commissioner of Police, Philip Ogbadu, confirmed the attack, but noted that the two officers survived.

 The CP explained that “the style the kidnappers use is that on sighting a vehicle, they will immediately open fire so that they can force the vehicle to a stop.”

 “It happened yesterday, the driver conveying a white man being escorted by two police men were shot at. The driver died but the officers held on to their rifles and they survived. The only thing is that the white man was taken away,” he stated.

‘Attacks on police facilities misplaced anger’

In the midst of the insecurity across the country, a former chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Mr Simon Okeke, has described as misplaced anger the incessant attacks on police officers and their facilities in the South-east.

Speaking to journalists in  Nnewi South local government area of Anambra state,  Okeke decried the increasing security challenges in the country, particularly in the South-east as  worrisome.

He said: “These incessant attacks on the police facilities can be linked to bottled anger or accumulated aggression or what we can call misplaced anger on the part of the citizenry.

“Though, there may be bad eggs in the police, but it does not justify the series of attacks on them or their facilities.

“The prevailing situation is very worrisome. South-east had been among the safest states across the country, especially Anambra, but for some time now, that peace and serenity has been disturbed and uprooted.”

The former PSC chair said 90 per cent of the police facilities were built by private individuals and through community efforts after which they were handed over to the police authorities.

He said: “Nothing happens without a cause. The #EndSARS protest broke down the peace we had. All sets of people, known and unknown hijacked the demonstration to loot and destroy government property.

“These attackers do not realise that they are just destroying their own property. The police force cannot rebuild these facilities because they do not have the money. It is the same community that will rebuild them, which is currently happening.

“I agree that the citizens-police relationship today is not the same as it was in my own time. Even the police you are accusing have their own complaints against the government and society.

 “That’s why people like me have been advocating for (sic) state police since 2003, without which things will continue to deteriorate.

“This is because the needs of the Police Force have exceeded the budget approved by the Federal Government. Police prestige is no longer there as they are no longer being taken care of.

“It is a vicious circle. People are angry because the police are not doing what they are supposed to be doing.” (NAN)

About Sanusi Muhammad, Gusau and Patrick Ahanor, Benin City

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