Dare-devil gunmen have murdered the traditional ruler of Adani Autonomous Community in Uzo Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, His Royal Highness Ezugwu Patrick. He was killed in Akutara Village on Christmas Eve.
Speaking on Christmas Day during a visit to the crime scene, the Enugu State Commissioner of Police (CP), Kanayo Uzuegbu, confirmed the arrest of eight suspects in connection with the shooting and murder of the traditional ruler.
He said that the police had resolved to be ruthless with those who would be found culpable of the crime.
Addressing the CP at the scene of the crime, the Traditional Prime Minister of the community, Dr Obinna Ayogu, said they were dumfounded by the shooting and murder of the royal father whom he described as a peaceful man.
In his address, CP Uzuegbu said he was at the Adani community with his team to assess the situation for effective police action. He maintained that both the masterminds and executioners of the criminal acts would be fished out to face the wrath of the law.
The CP’s words: “His Excellency, the Governor of Enugu State, said I should relocate to this local government and ensure that all those responsible for this unfortunate act are apprehended in line with the state’s zero tolerance for crime. Immediately the news got to me, I dispatched my men from the Criminal Investigation Department and the Area Command, led by the Area Commander, to visit here and ensure that all those involved are arrested because no incident like this should happen without severe consequences.
“I want to disclose that so far, we have made arrest of eight prime suspects and we will continue to trail the remaining criminal masterminds of this murder. We must get to the root of this matter by unravelling all those behind the killing.
“I want to let you know that the Governor is not happy that a breach of this nature could occur, so he asked me to come here to ensure that all the criminals are fished out. I can assure you that these criminals will never go unpunished. So, all those responsible for this crime will be brought to book and punished according to the law,” he added.
Corroborating the arrest, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Daniel Ndukwe, said the crime happened about 9 pm on Sunday by armed hoodlums suspected to be assassins.
In a press statement personally signed by him on Christmas day, the PPRO said the commissioner had already directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the State Criminal Investigation Department to carry out a full-scale investigation that would lead to the prosecution of everyone found wanting.
Addressing newsmen at the Adani Police Division shortly after transferring the suspects to the SCID, the Chief Security Officer to the Governor, CSP Alex Akinlalu, assured the family of the late traditional ruler and the community that the governor had directed that justice should be dispensed within time.
He further said that security operatives would continue to go after unrepentant criminals wherever they were in their determined efforts to make the state safe and crime-free.
While describing the incident as unfortunate, the CSO insisted that the rapid response of the security agents in the state, particularly in arresting the hoodlums, showed that they had already keyed into the governor’s security project to make the entire state free of crimes for residents and citizens.
Akinlalu added that no form of any criminality would be allowed in the state, assuring that every person involved in the killing of the traditional ruler would pay for it as information about the whereabouts of other suspects was being unravelled.
Consoling the bereaved family, the Chairman of the council area, Hon. Chukwudi Nnadozie, said he was glad the governor had already picked interest in the matter with some of the suspects behind the bar.
“I want to commend the governor for responding almost immediately after the event happened. The governor personally reached out to me about the deployment of local intelligence to uncover those behind this because he said all those culpable must face the wrath of the law. The CP also called me about the development, and promised to be here. I want to appreciate the security agencies for their efforts. The Area Commander slept over in this place. The way the state government and the security agencies reacted to the development has brought everything under control,” he noted.