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Gunmen storm Owerri High Court, rescue gang leader, 48 others

From George ONYEJIUWA, OWERRI

Dare devil armed gang has stormed the  High Court in Owerri , Imo State South East Nigeria and rescued their member a  notorious Kidnap Kingpin in the South East,  identified as Chibueze Henry, popularly known as  Vampire.

Witnesses told Daily Sun that the gun men had laid a siege at the premises of the court unknown to the Prisons Officials who were conveying the suspect and other inmates to the court .

Immediately on arrival and as the notorious kidnapper alighted from the vehicle  his gang  members who were already  waiting opened fire on the people including the prison armed squad who were taken unawares and as the people ran helter Skelter to escape the wrath of the gang members, Vampire was immediately whisked into a Jeep and they fled the premises of the court .

During the daring rescue operation which last for ten minutes, the witness continue, one of the prisons officials was shot dead and several others were injured. Also shot on the foot as well is one of the crown witness who had come to court to testify against  Vampire.

A witness  was identified as Emeka Basil said he saw when the jeep entered into the court premises but did not know that they came for that mission but that it was when the people in the jeep starting shooting that he knew some thing was wrong.

” I saw when the black jeep drove into the court premises this morning but as usual it is normal but it was when the vehicle conveying Vampire arrived the court that the men in the jeep who are heavily armed opened fire on the vehicle that I knew that some thing was wrong.
Many people including prisons officials, who were running to escape being hit by the bullets and I had to run for my life too.”

He said that shooting which lasted for ten minutes only stopped when the men succeeded to escape with Vampire.

Another eyewitness blamed what happened on security lapses, adding that an Army checkpoint was located few metres away while the police headquarters was also few metres away from the court but none had come to the assist the prisons officers who were under attack by the heavily armed robbers.

However, the Public Relation Officer of the Imo State Prison Command Mr.James Madugba who later briefed the press said that nobody was killed during the attack on the prisons officials who were conveying Vampire and other inmates to court.

He said that the command were alerted of the presence of some unidentified persons which they suspected to be members of DSS.

It would be recalled that notorious armed robber  and Kidnap Kingpin was on July 26th 2015 paraded before the newsmen at the DSS office in Owerri,after being trailed by the DSS for several weeks before he was finally apprehended in one of the hotels in Owerri and has since remained in the custody of the Imo  Prisons.

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Editor, Online: Ikenna Emewu
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