By Alex Olise
Commissioner of Police, Enugu State CP Abubakar Lawal has announced the arrest of twenty-six suspected criminals and the recovery of five firearms, four live ammunitions of different calibres and other exhibits recovered as part of the ongoing efforts of the Police Command to ensure that armed robbers, cultists and criminal elements have no breathing space in the State.
The CP also charged operatives of the Command to remain focused and be on top of their games to actualize the Command’s quest to purge the state of unrepentant criminal elements.
In a press statement e-signed and released to The Trumpet by the Command’s Spokesperson, Daniel Ndukwe, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) stated, “The Commissioner of Police, Enugu State Command, CP Abubakar Lawal, has charged Operatives of the Command to remain at the top of their games, in view of actualizing the Command’s quest to purge the State of unrepentant criminal elements.”
According to the statement, “His position is sequel to the arrest of twenty-six (26) male suspects, involved in the offences of conspiracy, unlawful possession of firearms/ammunition and cult activities. The arrests led to the recovery of one (1) English made Beretta pistol with one (1) live round of .9mm caliber ammunition, four (4) locally made pistols with three (3) live cartridges and other incriminating exhibits.
“The operations leading to the arrests and recoveries are briefly described as follows: On 29/05/2022 at about 11 pm, a combined team of Police Operatives drawn from Operation Restore Peace (ORP) and Enugu Metro Area Command, while on routine stop/search duty along Abakaiki Road, Enugu; intercepted in a commercial bus and arrested one Obinna Owoh aged 22, of Ntezi in Ishielu LGA of Ebonyi State, while two of his cohorts escaped. Search conducted on him led to the recovery of two (2) locally made pistols with three (3) live cartridges.
“Similarly, on 28/05/2022 at about 5.30 pm, Police Operatives serving in the Nsukka sector of the Command’s Crack Squad arrested one Benedict Nwodo aged 29, of Ugwuechara in Nsukka, following their prompt response to a distress call alleging that he was sighted with a gun along with CSO Site in Nsukka. One (1) English-made Berretta pistol with one (1) live round of .9mm calibre of ammunition was recovered from him.”
In a related development, on 28/05/2022 at about 4.30 am, Police Operatives serving in Anti Cultism Squad of the Command, acting on credible information, busted a secret cult meeting/initiation process in a forest at Eke in Udi LGA, arrested twenty-four (24) suspects and recovered two (2) locally made pistols, seven (7) black berets and a white-coloured ten litres can, containing liquid substance suspected to be a mixture of palm wine and Indian hemp used for the initiation.
Ongoing investigation revealed that the suspects are made up of fourteen (14) newly initiated and ten (10) old members of Apache Tigers (“Two-Two”), which is also known as Black Beret (“BB”) Confraternity.
The suspects include: Eze Lucky Chinemerem aged 27, Igwe Chidimma Jonathan aged 22, Ugwu Chiemerie aged 22, Agubata Chidera aged 22, Abraham Onumah aged 28, Abdulraham Suleiman aged 21, Chizoba Atu aged 23, Sunday Victor aged 23, Eneh Chidera aged 28, Asadu Ejike Stephen aged 25, Eze Chibuzor Emmanuel aged 22, Ebuo Tochukwu Victor aged 27, Ogbodo Mohammed aged 32 and Gabriel Ebubechukwu aged 23. Others are Offia Emeka Emmanuel aged 26, Ajoku Leo Chiemeka aged 28, Onyekwelu Ugochukwu aged 32, Chibuoke Chukwuemeka aged 40, Chineke Chibueze aged 26, Ugwu Chibuike aged 35, Aneke Chidubem aged 30, Ozougwu Henry aged 29, Aneke Ugochukwu aged 31 and Nwali Ikechukwu aged 25.
They all confessed to being members of the secret cult group. All the suspects will be arraigned in court once investigations are concluded.
Meanwhile, members of the public, particularly residents of the state have been called upon to remain law-abiding, and vigilant, and continue to assist the Police with credible and timely information/intelligence it requires to clamp down on unrepentant criminal elements in the state.
“This they can do by reporting at the nearest Police Station or by calling the Command’s emergency hotlines on 08032003702, 08075390883 or 08086671202. Or alternatively, send e-mails to email@example.com or use the ‘NPF Rescue App’ to make such reports, and rest assured that their identities and the reports shall be accorded utmost confidentiality and necessary action,” the spokesperson said.