Information reaching us from Imo state police command, through the office of the command’s police public relations officer, Sp Ikeokwu Godson Orlando, has it that, the command under the leadership of the Imo state commissioner of police, Cp Isaac Akinmoyede, last Friday 10th of December 2020 paraded fourteen criminal suspects for various crimes, ranging from murder, armed robbery, Kidnap, unlawful possession of firearms and other crime
Parading the suspects, assured Imolites that the command in collaboration with all the security agencies in the state remains in control of the security situation in the state despite the temporary setback caused to be the END SARS, which was hijacked by hoodlums and wasted many lives, Adding that, adequate arrangements have been to in place for a peaceful yuletide period, as such a total of Three Thousand Five Hundred (3500) policemen shall be deployed for the yuletide operations, he, therefore, urged Imolites to feel free to celebrate as the command remains in the business of protecting lives and properties of Imolites
According to the information, on 30th November 2020 at about 2145hrs, operatives of the IGP Special Task Force on Petroleum/Illegal Bunkering attached to Imo State Command while on duty at Amala, Ngor Okpala nipping point, accosted four young men on two motorcycles. While being questioned by the Policemen, they took to their heels and were subsequently chased. In the process, one of the hoodlums one Mathew Ndubueze ‘m’ aged 25yrs of Otulu in Ezinihitte Mbaise LGA of Imo State was arrested.
Even as he maintained that , Sequel to the above, he directed the transfer of the case to the Command Anti-Kidnapping Unit (AKU). Upon receipt of the case, the Unit swung into action and on 3/12/2020, the operatives arrested one Onyeka Ogueri of Umuoparaodu, Abaeke in Ihitte Uboma LGA, Obinna Onyetuge, of Obodo Amaimo in Ikeduru LGA, Benjamin Emmanso of Amaeke Inyishi in Ikeduru LGA, all of Imo State and Bright Wele ‘m’ 26yrs of Ozoagba in Obiakpo LGA, Rivers State. At the point of arrest, the following weapons were recovered from them: Two (2) AK47 Riffle Nos. 04419 and 3H6100, One (1) Locally Made Pistol, Seventy Seven (77) Rounds of 7.62 mm live ammunition and Six (6) AK47 Magazines.adding they confessed to be on their way to River state for robbery operation.
Cp Akinmoyede said , Sequel to the killing of the outlawed Johnson Igwe aka ‘Don Wanny’ in Rivers State by the Joint Task Force, some members of his gang fled to neighboring states including Imo State. In response to his directive to rid Imo State of all forms of crimes and mop-up illegal firearms in circulation, operatives of the Command at Umuanunu, Obinze in Owerri West LGA, arrested a notorious kidnapper/armed robber, Uche UYANA AKA ‘Onye Army’ 33yrs old, a native of Umudike Egbema in Ohaji/Egbema LGA, Imo State.
Pointing out that, preliminary investigation revealed that he is a strong member of the late Don Wanny gang and was responsible for the killing of two soldiers attached to 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze, sometime in March 2019, during an operation. Recovered from him are LAR Rifle with 26 rounds of live ammunition, one General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) with One Hundred Rounds (100) of 0.9mm live ammunition (in chains), and Fourteen (14) AK47 magazines. He confessed to being the armorer of the gang.
He further disclosed that, on the 8th of November 2020 at about 0700hrs, a four-man kidnap gang operating in a Toyota Corolla car with Reg. No. AB 803 ABB, invaded Eziudo in Ezinihitte Mbaise LGA and kidnapped one Lolo Cecilia Iloh. While escaping with their victim who was bundled into the trunk of their car, the victim raised an alarm which attracted the attention of the neighbors. As a result, the villagers gave the hoodlums a hot chase which led to their abandoning the victim and their Toyota Corolla car while fleeing. Consequently, one Opara Reginald of Ibeku Okwuato in Aboh Mbaise LGA of Imo State was arrested and handed over to the Police. On interrogation, the suspect confessed to the crime and made a useful statement. Investigation is ongoing.
The Imo police boss also revealed that, on 24th of February 2020, a two man gang of armed robbers tricked one Raphael UGWU ‘m’, a commercial bus driver with his DAIHATSU Mini Bus with Reg. No. BKL 124 ZJ to a lonely road along Owerri/Onitsha Road under the guise of chattering him and on gun point dispossessed him of the said vehicle. On receipt of the information, the tactical units were mandated to recover the vehicle and possibly arrest the hoodlums. Furthermore, incident report was sent to various commands seeking collaborative efforts in the recovery of the vehicle.
Adding that on 30th of June 2020, one Omereonye Chinemerem of Umudibia Akatta Ubamma in Obigbo LGA of Rivers State, was arrested at Amasoma in Bayelsa State by operatives of Operation Puff Adder and handed over to Imo State Police Command on 17th Novermber 2020.
On 26/11/2020 at about 1300hrs, information was received that a gang of armed robbers terrorizing Owerri/Umuaka/Orlu Road and its environs was hibernating and planning their criminal expedition in an isolated house at Okwudor in Njaba LGA. On receipt of the information, operatives of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit in synergy with other tactical teams stormed their criminal hideout and arrested one Chibueze Denis ‘m’ of the same address. He confessed to series of armed robbery operations and volunteered statement.
Also paraded is a suspect Godswill Amaefula a serial kidnapper/Armed Robbery suspect who featured prominently in series of kidnapping/Armed Robbery cases within Imo, Abia and Rivers State. He escaped from operatives during an encounter which led to the arrest of his members on 8th June 2020. He was among the gang that kidnapped and robbed some persons at different locations and dates within the state.
According to Cp Akinmoyede , on crack down of his gang, he escaped and sojourn in his home town Afougiri Umuevu Okpula Umuahia North L.G.A Abia State from where he sneaked into Owerri on 24th Novermber 2020 to procure AK47 rifle for a planned kidnap of the Director of 11:45 Hotel and Suites. Through credible intelligence the suspect was arrested and he confessed to have participated in various kidnapping and robbery operations in Imo State. Adding that, the suspect stated that his reason for sourcing for arms was because their arms were seized by Policemen during one of their operations at Umuokpo Emeabiam Owerri West L.G.A Imo State.
The state police commissioner, further informed that, on 15th of Novermber 2020, one Victor Ehirim and Chika Godstime through a phone call lured one Obinali Arinze and Igboecheonwu Timothy to Nwaorieubi, Mbaitoli LGA, Imo State, under the guise of giving them a building contract. On getting to Nwaorieubi, Mbaitoli LGA, an unknown motor cyclist surfaced and took them to a lonely road where they were abducted. They were kept hostage in a forest, dispossessed of their GSM handset and First Bank ATM Cards, the hoodlums used the victim’s ATM Cards to siphon the funds in their accounts. However, the hoodlums later called for ransom of Five Million Naira (N5,000,000.00).
Accoding to Cp Akinmoyede ,on receipt of the information, operatives of Anti-Kidnapping Unit swung into action and on 2nd December 2020, through credible intelligence, stormed the kidnappers hideout at Izombe, Oguta L.G.A, Imo State and arrested Victor Ehirim aged of Ejemekuru, Oguta L.G.A, Imo State, Chika Gogstime aged of Umuasua, Isuikwuato, L.G.A Abia State, (Arinze Onwuegbuchu of Izombe Oguta L.G.A Imo State). They confessed to the crime and led operatives to arrest the criminal receiver of the stolen items, one Arinze Onwuegbuchu of same address. Investigation is ongoing.
He also disclosed that, on 8th of December 2020 about 1400hrs, one Eugene Madufor of Umuechem Elelem, Ngor Okpala in Imo State, reported that on same date about 1030hrs, he received an anonymous phone call, The caller who introduced himself as a member of IYC Boys Ulakwo, informing him that his junior brother, one Wisdom Eke of same address has been kidnapped, and thereby demanding a ransom of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000). On receipt of the information, Operatives of the Divisional Police Headquarters, Agballa, swiftly swung into action, upon diligent investigation, stormed the hideout of the kidnappers and one Opara Ikechukwuf Umovum Ulakwo was arrested, while the victim was rescued unhurt. Case has been transferred to Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the Command for further investigation. Efforts are in progress to arrest other fleeing suspected members of the gang.