February 21, 2023

DPO, 5 others killed as gunmen attack another police station in Anambra

DPO, 5 others killed as gunmen attack another police station in Anambra


By Vincent Ujumadu, Awka

SIX persons, including the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, of Awada Police Division, near Obosi, in Idemili North Local Government Area, and two police operatives attached to the division, as well as three unidentified gunmen, were killed yesterday, during a gun battle between the gunmen and the police.

It is the third of such attacks in the local council, in the past five days, and the sixth in the state in the past two weeks.

It was gathered that the gunmen made a desperate attempt to burn down Awada Police Station, but were stopped by the firepower of the police.

A source in the area said: “They were repelled by the security personnel, with three members of the gang gunned down during an exchange of fire.

“Two AK-47 rifles were recovered from them, including the vehicles (a Toyota Sienna) used for the failed operation by the gang.”

The gunmen also killed three policemen, including the DPO of the station, while two more gunmen were captured.

“The situation was terrible for people living close to the police station and it was as if there was a war going on. Sounds of gunshots rained all through the morning here.

“When I inquired, this morning, I was told that unknown gunmen invaded the station, set some parts ablaze, and killed three policemen, including the DPO, Isiowulu Police Station, a newly recruited constable and one inspector.

“With the help of the military men that later surfaced, police were able to kill three of the gunmen and caught two of them.”

Police confirm the death of 4 operatives, 3 IPOB members

Reacting, yesterday, the Anambra State police command confirmed the death of four policemen during the attack at the Awada Police Station.

In a statement, the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Tochukwu Ikenga, said three members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and Eastern Security Network, ESN, were also killed during the operation.

Ikenga’s statement read: “Today 20/02/2023 at about 02:20 am, gunmen suspected to be IPOB/ESN, attacked Awada Police Station in Idemilli North LGA of Anambra State, using Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs, and automatic firearms.

“In response to the attack, police operatives attached to Anambra State Command engaged the assailants jointly with troops from 302 Artillery Regiment of the Nigeria Army in a gun duel and three members of the outlawed IPOB/ESN were fatally wounded while three Kalashnikov rifles and one Automatic Pump Action gun were recovered from them.

“Other items recovered from the assailants include a brown Lexus 330 with reg no. GWA 415BB ABJ, one unregistered KYMCO motorcycle suspected to be stolen properties, charms and other incriminating items.

“During a mop-up operation by police/military operatives, two male suspects reasonably believed to have participated in the attack, were apprehended.

“Regrettably, four police operatives paid the supreme price, while a section of the station, one police patrol vehicle and three exhibit vehicles in the premises were set ablaze by petrol bombs thrown into the station by the assailants.”

According to the PPRO, the state Commissioner of Police, Echeng E. Echeng has already visited the scene, adding that after conducting spot assessments, he ordered the immediate deployment of all the command’s operational/investigative assets to track down fleeing members of the murderous gang.

He said that the CP has appealed to residents of Awada and the people of Anambra State to remain calm as the police, in collaboration with sister agencies, would not rest on their oars until the criminal elements tormenting the state were brought to justice.