OPERATIVES of the Nigeria Police Force have arrested 16 suspects for alleged complicity in a series of violent and unprovoked attacks on security operatives and facilities in some states of the federation, particularly in the South-East.
The police said a pastor with the Holy Blessed Trinity Sabbath Church, Orlu, Imo State, Nwachukwu Egole, and a prophet with the Association of Jewish Faith, Michael Uba, were two of the masterminds of the various attacks on security personnel, in addition to providing spiritual cover for the gang.
Egole’s house was allegedly used by the gang members to plan their nefarious operations.
He also reportedly donated his late brother’s farmland for use as a hideout and training camp for the gang.
A statement on Sunday by the Force Spokesman, Frank Mba, disclosed that those in custody include Ugochukwu Samuel aka Biggy, 28-year-old native of Arochukwu LGA in Abia State; Raphael Idang, 31-year-old native of Odukpani LGA of Cross River State; Egole aka ‘Alewa’, 60-year-old native of Orlu in Imo State; Uba, 33-year-old from Imo State; and 12 others were implicated in multiple felonies committed across several states in the South-East.
The statement titled, ‘Unprovoked killings of security operatives: Police arrest 16, recover arms, ammunition, explosives,’ further noted that the suspects were arrested in various parts of the country following sustained and intelligence-driven sting operations.
It stated, “Specifically, investigations revealed that the duo of Samuel and Idang were among the criminal elements that attacked policemen on duty at a checkpoint on December 24, 2020 along Orlu-Ihiala road in Imo State where two police officers were killed and a police Hilux patrol van set ablaze.”
The police explained that nine AK-47 rifles, five other sophisticated firearms, 17 AK-47 magazines, 549 AK-47 live ammunition, 10 Improvised Explosive Devices, camouflage bullet-proof vests, walkie-talkies and other incriminating items were recovered from the suspects.”
IG team in Benue to probe attempt on Ortom’s life
Meanwhile, a Special Investigation Task Force set up by the IG has arrived in Makurdi for the investigation of the attempted murder of the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom.
The team, led by DCP Abba Kyari, consists of operatives from the Tactical Investigation Units of the Force Intelligence Bureau and other experienced crack detectives with specialized competencies in crime scene investigation and reconstruction, ballistics, fingerprint analysis and other core areas of forensics.
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