By Ikechukwu Odu
Enugu State Police Command, yesterday said it has arrested 17 suspects over armed robbery, cultism and other vices.
This is even as the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mohammed Ndatsu Aliyu, has maintained that the Command under his watch, will sustain the ongoing onslaught against unrepentant criminal elements in the state.
The statement made available to Vanguard by the spokesperson of the Command, Daniel Ndukwe, indicated that the arrests happened at different operations carried out by the officers of the command.
Ndukwe added some of the suspects, comprising 15 males and two females were arrested over offences also bothering on attempted murder, unlawful possession of firearms, attempted vandalism among others.
Part of the statement reads ” The operations also led to the successful recovery of three (3) firearms, two (2) live cartridges, one (1) motor vehicle, one (1) tricycle, six (6) mobile phones of different makes and other incriminating items.
“Brief descriptions of the breakthroughs show that Operatives attached to Awkunanaw Police Division of the Command, on 11/05/2021 at about 0730hrs, recovered one (1) custom-coloured Toyota Camry Car with registration number: ENU 556 MH, along Amagugwu Road, Awkunanaw, Enugu. Preliminary investigation shows that the car was stolen from where it was parked at Abakaliki Road, Enugu by the criminal gang, who abandoned the vehicle and fled due to intense pressure mounted by the Operatives. However, discreet investigation to fish out the fleeing suspects has commenced.
“In another development, Operatives attached to Enugu Metro Area Command, in synergy with Local Vigilante Group of Nchatancha-Nike Enugu, on 09/05/2021 at about 1100hrs, arrested one Ejike Okeke aged 18, of Nkwubor-Nike Village, Enugu East L.G.A. after he and others, who escaped on sighting the Operatives, were found attempting to vandalize Railway tracks at Nkwubor Rail-line. One (1) locally-made pistol with one (1) live cartridge was recovered from him. A discreet investigation is ongoing to apprehend fleeing members of the gang.
“Also, Operatives attached to New Haven Police Division on 07/05/2021 at about 0420hrs, recovered one (1) yellow-coloured Bajaj Tricycle with UWN 468 VJ, MD2A25BY9LWG94183 and AN-101177 as its Registration, Chassis and Engine Numbers respectively, at Chime Avenue, Enugu. The tricycle, suspected to have been stolen, was abandoned by its occupants after a hot chase by the Operatives. Meanwhile, frantic efforts are being made to fish out the suspects.
” In yet another development, following joint operations carried out by Operatives of the Command attached to 9th Mile Police Division and Anti-Cult Unit as well as personnel of the Nigerian Army, 82 Division Enugu; the under-listed suspects were arrested for acts of cultism and unlawful possession of firearms at different locations, dates and times. They include Cornelius Uche aged 31, Ifeanyi Umeneze aged 22, Chijioke Anachuna aged 34, Chibuzor Umeayo aged 28, Chinedu Okeke aged 23, Ozinachi Obadike aged 22, Ifeanyi Nwagbo aged 27, Chigozie Okeke aged 18 and Chikamso Odinwankpa (f) aged 18; who were all arrested on 04/05/2021 in Ezeagu, Ezeagu L.G.A., following their alleged involvement in bloody cult clashes.
” Others include Ozor Chidubem (a.k.a Percy) aged 22, Amina Inalegwu (f) aged 18, Benard Bright aged 20, Ugwu Chidera aged 21, Ani Chukwuebuka aged 23 and Onoh Obumneme aged 20, who were all arrested on 19/4/2021 at about 0330hrs, along Enugu/Makurdi Expressway, 9th Mile, Udi L.G.A. on their way to plan and perfect a heinous cult activity, as preliminary investigation reveals. Another of the suspect, one Uchenna Aniagozie aged 28, was arrested on 28/04/2021 for his alleged involvement in a deadly cult clash sometime in January 2021.
“Preliminary investigations show that they all confessed to being members of Vikings Confraternity, while one (1) cut-to-size locally-made gun, one (1) locally-made pistol, two (2) live cartridges, six (6) mobile phones of different makes, a powdery substance suspected to be heroin (otherwise locally called Mkpuru-mmiri) and weeds suspected to be Indian Hemp were recovered from them.
“The suspects will be prosecuted accordingly once investigations are concluded.
“Meanwhile, rightful owners of the motor vehicle and tricycle are hereby enjoined to visit the mentioned Police Divisions with relevant documents to identify and claim them.
” To this end, residents of the State have been called upon to remain law-abiding, vigilant and to quickly report suspected criminals and their activities to the nearest Police Station.”