By Eric Ugbor
ABA â€” renewed on-slaught on kidnappers and armed robbers by the police authorities in Abia State seems to be yielding results, as a cracked police team shot dead a suspected robbers, yesterday at Ngwaiyiekwe along the Enugu-Port-Harcourt expressway,Â during a fierce gun battle between the police and the hoodlums.
The gunmen, said to be numbering about 15 and in Army uniform, had at about 5p.m. yesterday, blocked the expressway, forcing vehicles from both-axis of the road to stop while they terrorised their victims, dispossessing them of cash and other valuables.
This incident is coming barely five days after the Police invaded one of the kidnappersâ€™ hideouts in Abala village, Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia, and killed two hoodlums.
Arrest 31 suspects
The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abia State Command, Mr. Kings Omere, who briefed journalists at the Police Area Command, Aba, yesterday, said Police had in the past one month,Â arrested 31 suspected kidnappers and armed robbers.
The Police also paraded various vehicles, arms and ammunitions recovered from the hoodlums in different operations, which include 25 AK 47 magazine, loaded withÂ 660 rounds of ammunition, one AK riffle with double magazine loaded with 2000 GPMG ammunition and three jeeps, all used by the kidnappers for their operations.
The DCP said, â€œyesterday, the public and the Police played critical role that led to the huge success made in confronting and over powering the criminals.â€
He explained that the police received information from a civil servant, who was travelling from Port-Harcourt, when the robbers blocked the road, stopping vehicles from both axis for severalÂ hours. He added that the hoodlums, numbering about 15 in Army uniform, in two jeeps, laid ambush in strategic positions with another jeep as get-away means.
According to him, when the Police approached the scene, the hoodlums opened fire and during the exchange of fire, some of the criminals ran into the bush while one of them was gunned down.
He said, â€œthe hoodlums abandoned three 4/4 SUVs with plate numbers, Abuja FB 322 RSH, CA 304 RSH and the other one without number. Meanwhile, the owner of the vehicle number FB 322 RSH, a CRV SUV, Mr. Anyahie Anayo, a businessman from Owerri,Â Imo State was rescued from the boot ofÂ his vehicle when the criminals fled after fierce gun battle withÂ the Police, which forced them to abandon the car in a nearby bush around Obehie.â€
The DCP commended the courage and gallantry of the men of the Abia State Police Command, especially those of the Aba Command, and information from public spirited individuals, whichÂ helped the police to perform the feat.