The police in Imo have called for vigilance in the state following the arrest of a 16-year-old gangster armed to the teeth like the Hollywood Rambo.
The teenager, identified as Onyedikachi Iyaka of Umuchokwu Ukwu Village, at Ehime Mbano Local Government Area, was described by the police as a suspected terrorist and armed robber with private armory stocked with assorted caliber of ammunition.
According to the police, items recovered from Iyaka included 400 rounds of chained GPMG live ammunition, 1, 016 rounds of AK 47 live ammunition, one AK 47 empty magazine, one K2 empty magazine, one army camouflage bulletproof vest, one police bullet proof vest, one blue police raincoat, one green beret cap, and one empty ammunition box.
The Commissioner of Police (CP) in Imo, Mr Chris Ezike, gave further details about the arrest at a media briefing.
He said, “On September 8, 2017, operatives of the Command’s Special Anti Robbery Squad arrested the above named suspect at Egbelu Awaka in Owerri North LGA following a tip-off. When search was conducted in his house, the listed exhibits were recovered. Investigation has commenced. However, the quantum and calibre of exhibits recovered underscores the need for community vigilance, surveillance and strategic information flow.
Ezike also mentioned two cases of kidnappings and murders that his men has again resolved, four days after they celebrated the arrest of suspected kidnappers and killers of a Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo, in the state.
The CP paraded a 25-year-old suspect, Kingsley Alaukwu, of Umuoso Mgbushi, in Ohaji Egbema area of Imo, who was held in connection with the kidnap-murder of two victims identified as Gabriel Alaukwu, 67, and Iniobong Sunday, 38.
Ezike said, “On August 5, 2017, the victims were kidnapped at Nkaraha in Ohaji/Egbema LGA. They were later murdered and buried in a shallow grave after the kidnappers collected ransom of N100, 000. On August 25, following a painstaking investigation, operatives of the Command’s anti kidnapping squad arrested the suspect who in company of two others now at large kidnapped and murdered the victims.
“The suspect has confessed to the crime and has mentioned his cohorts as Ugochukwu Ekezie and Emeka Onuegbu now at large. They are gang members of one Uju Promise Ekene earlier declared wanted by the Police, all of whom are from Mgbishi in Ohaji/Egbema LGA of Imo State. The decomposed corpses of the victims have been exhumed and appropriately relocated. I take this opportunity to further declare Ugochukwu Ekezie and Emeka Onuegbu wanted. The detailed description of their persons and habits will be given by the Police PRO in due course.”
In another kidnapping case, the police paraded a 26-year-old suspect, Kabiru Garba from Gumel in Jigawa State.
The victims were identified as Tochukwu Okeke and Ekemezie Okeke from Mbaitoli, in Imo.
A locally-made pistol was allegedly recovered from the suspect, along with the victim’s telephone handset and necklace.
Ezike said, “Sequel to the kidnap of the above named victims on August 2, 2017 and following their successful rescue by operatives of the Command on September 5 at Ama Hausa Owerri, the suspect was arrested by operatives of the Command in connection with the crime. Suspect has confessed to the crime. The telephone handset and necklace belonging to one of the victims were found in his possession. Investigation has commenced and efforts are in top gear to apprehend other members of the gang.
In yet another case, the police arrested a suspected kidnapper and armed robber and recovered a stolen vehicle.
The suspect was identified as Uche Paul Ikewelugo, 32, who hails from Awka Anambra State.
Police named the victim as Mrs Evangeline Chidi Opara of 16 MCC Uratta Road, Owerri, and her recovered car as a Lexus 300 SUV marked BGM-735-RD.
Ezike said, “On June 3, 2017, the victim was kidnapped and her white Lexus 330 Jeep taken away to unknown destination. She was later released after paying a ransom of N250, 000. On August 7, 2017, operatives of the Command in the course of thorough investigation arrested the suspect in connection with the crime and recovered the victim’s vehicle where it was placed for sale in Anambra State. Investigation is on-going.”
The CP thanked the state government and people of Imo for “their wonderful support in our efforts to stop criminal impunity”.
He added, “As Christmas is approaching, we shall increase the tempo of our game. We need your support in being law abiding and blowing the whistle regularly.”