*Another herbalist, 5 others arrested
By Vincent Ujumadu
Awka – THE Anambra State Police command has killed a suspected leader of one of the gangs terrorizing the state.
It has also arrested another native doctor believed to be aiding the gunmen, while five other persons were also in police net for questioning.
Recall that a native doctor said to be involved in the beheading of a lawmaker in the state, Okechukwu Okoye, was arrested in Awka last week while attempting to escape.
The latest arrests came after Sunday’s attack and kidnapping of two persons at Oko in Orumba North local government area, as well as two other persons at Ekwulobia in Aguata local government area.
It was gathered that the gunmen had entered Oko through Nanka for a kidnap operation and almost succeeded, but for the prompt intervention of the police special force acting on a tip- off, which engaged them in gunfire battle.
According to a source in the area, while one of the kidnappers was killed, others escaped with various degrees of injuries, adding that the gunman killed at Oko was identified as a former member of a vigilante outfit who was part of a four- man gang that has been involved in high profile killings and kidnapping in the area.
Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr Tochukwu Ikenga, who confirmed the arrests, said the command received distress call about the kidnap of two persons at Oko, and while on their trail, they learnt that the gang had also kidnapped two more persons at Ekwulobia, and quickly pursued them and were able to track them down.
He said: “Based on information, Police operatives working with the vigilante, stormed the location, rescued the four victims and arrested one Emeka who was suspected of complicity.
“Upon interrogation, he confessed to the crime and led detectives to the hideout of his gang in Oba, Idemili South local government area, where a shootout ensued.
“The gang leader, one Chinedu Ajogu, aka Sampolo, was gunned down and five other persons, including their native doctor, was arrested for interrogation.
“Some of the items recovered at the criminal hideout include one SMG rifle, one beretta pistol, two locally made revolver pistol, a dagger, one Biafra flag and a pair of ESN uniform.
“Others are two berets, two web belts, assorted charms and one Acura SUV vehicle, which was reportedly snatched from a Reverend Father at Awgbu”.
Ikenga said the suspects were being interrogated with a view to eliciting more information on their involvement in previous criminal activities.