• Arrest 2

Operatives of the Imo State Police Command at the weekend killed five armed robbery and kidnap suspects, in a renewed offensive against criminal elements in the state. Two other suspects are now in police net following the operation.

A statement signed by the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chris Ezike, said the state command’s monitoring unit had an encounter with a four-man gang of suspected kidnappers/armed robbers who the police had been trailing, near a petrol station at Irete, Owerri West Local Government Area. In the ensuing gun duel, he said, five of the suspects sustained gunshot wounds and later died, while two were arrested, with various degrees of injuries and are currently in police custody.

The police chief gave the names of the suspects as Ifeanyi, 38, Emeka, 28, Moses and Azubuike, popularly known as Zuby.

Ezike said that exhibits recovered from suspects included one AK-47 rifle; one pump-action gun;  one cut-to-size locally made gun; 17 rounds of AK-47 ammunition; 13 rounds of live cartridges;  six expended cartridges; some items suspected to be charms and a mask.

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Two of the suspects, he said, later died as a result of injuries sustained during the exchange of fire, while the surviving two are cooperating with the police in their investigations.

Ezike also disclosed that the same Friday operatives of the Nekede Division of the command, while also on routine patrol along Ihiagwa, in Owerri West LGA, had encounter with a three-man gang of suspected armed robbers, who opened fire on sighting the patrol team. According to him in the gunfire three of the suspected armed robbers were arrested with varying degrees of injuries. He said the arrested suspects died on the way to the hospital.

The police commissioner said two locally made short guns, two live cartridges and one motorcycle were recovered from the suspects.

Ezike said he had been working in tandem with community members in his whistle-blowing strategy, which has been successful.