By Vincent Ujumadu – Awka
The Anambra State Police Command on Wednesday took stock of its losses during the #endSARS protest in the state, saying four of it officers were killed, eleven police stations and over twenty vehicles including patrol and exhibit vehicles and an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), were set ablaze.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr John Abang who spoke during a press briefing at the command’s headquarters in Awka, also said that the hoodlums vandalized six other police stations and carted away some rifles and motorcycles kept as exhibits during the attacks.
According to the CP, police officers who lost their lives during the attacks include the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Osumenyi Division, CSP Akpan Joseph, ASP Agu Michael, the station office, PC Udegbunam Sunday Celestine and Inspector John Oche, who, he said was beheaded.
He added that two other officers were also injured.
Abang said that in the course of the decisive action by the Police, 17 suspected hoodlums were arrested in connection with the incidents with several exhibits, including one pump action, one axe, three cutlasses, one smoke grenade and some quantities of dry leaves suspected to be cannabis sativa and one (1) AK47 Rifle stolen from Ogbunike Division, were recovered by operatives of the Command.
He named the suspects as Matthew Vincent (29) from Izza North LGA of Ebonyi State, Aguonu chinedu Victor ( 24 ) of Otolo Nnewi, Ezenagwu Ekene ( 32 ) of Awka South LGA, Chukwuebuka Obianefo (36 ) of Ihiala LGA, Okonkwo Stanley (37 ) from Bende LGA of Abia State, Obumneme Omezuluike (30) Bende LGA of Abia State, Onyiuke Odinaka Izuchukwu ( 26) from Njikoka LGA of Anambra State and Chukwuweike Enweozo (30) fromm Onitsha North LGA.
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Others are Chibuzo Otiaba (22 ) from Njikoka LGA of Anambra State, Ebuka Nkwoego ( 26 ) from Ojenya Agbaja LGA of Ebonyi State, Emmanuel Okafor ( 21 ) from Anambra East LGA, Kelechi Onyekwere (34) from Osisioma, Abia State, Onyeka Egbemadu ( 23) from Ihiala LGA of Anambra State, Samson Okoli (23 ) from Ihiala LGA of Anambra State, Ugochukwu Nwagboso (38 ) from Ihiala LGA of Anambra State, Nwankpa Ejike (26 ) from Izza North LGA of Ebonyi State and Nwankpa Izuchukwu ( 20) from Izza North LGA of Ebonyi State.
He said investigation is ongoing and efforts are being intensified to apprehend other fleeing suspects in order to bring them to book.
The CP equally raising alarm that officers of the Command no longer walk freely in the state, adding that their lives and those of their families were being threatened by the suspected hoodlums operating under the guise of EndSARS protests.
Abang appreciated Governor, Willie Obiano, for his invaluable support to the law enforcement agencies in the State and urged the people to be security conscious at all times; and report any strange behaviour or suspicious movements to the nearest Police Station or through the Command emergency number 07039194332 for a prompt response.
He also commended the patriotic youths, traditional/community leaders, vigilante groups and residents of the State who contributed immensely to the overall successes recorded by the Command in calming the situation and restoring normalcy in the State as well as robust inter-agency collaboration.