Our Kinsman is kidnapping our children and some policemen are giving him protection.......Imo villagers

Last Sunday, a trigger-happy Policeman, Sergeant Chijioke Okorie was mobbed to death in Amandugba, in Isu Local Government Area of Imo state for allegedly shooting to death a hotel guest without provocation.

The guest, Ojiegbe Azuoku was a guest at Golden C hotel in Amandugba.

Fracas ensued at the hotel at about  8:45pm on Sunday night, which attracted operatives of the Police from the Isu Divisional Police headquarters nearby.

A source who pleaded anonymity said upon arrival the hotel, Sergeant Okorie unprofessionally fired at the people which led to the instant death of Ojiegbe Azuoku. He died before he was rushed to the hospital.

Angered by the action, the source said other guests swooped on the Policeman and beat him to death instantly, an action that threw the community into turmoil as everyone scampered for safety.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Andrew Enwerem confirmed the development and disclosed that an intensive investigation has commenced.

According to him, the State Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike has ordered the immediate return of normalcy in the area, and the arrest of everyone involved in the jungle justice.

Enwerem said: ‘’ as a command, as much as we condemn the unwarranted opening of fire arm, we also frown at the jungle justice by the mob. We have begun the process of identifying those who administered the jungle justice for arrest as ordered by the CP", the Police spokesman said.
This is one of the scenes in almost all parts of Imo state in recent time but despite the pitfalls of the security agencies , it appears a great work is being done to sanitize the state from criminals.
The changer
By September 2017, rather that kidnapping and armed robbery stopping in Imo state, it became rampant to the extent of the state Governor, Rochas Okorocha describing the state then as headquarters of kidnapping. The situation appears to be changing today as the Nigerian police daily burst the kidnappers and armed robbers.
At that time robbers even robbed for the second time, the Imo State House of Assembly complex and carted away valuables and vital documents.

There were so many criminals—kidnappers , car snatchers, armed robbers and traffickers arrested before September 2017 but there became a surge about September 2017 that led to Okorocha’s cry out.
Now , the song is about changing to the extent of communities reporting their sons and daughters assumed to be aiding and abetting crime in any way.

Umuowa-Ibu village calls for arrest of kidnap kinsman

Penultimate Wednesday (today), scores of villagers from Umuowa-Ibu in Okigwe local government in Imo State came on a protest march to the Police headquarters Owerre to protest against incessant kidnap of their children by  their kinsman, Okwudiri Werelebe, alleged to be enjoying Police protection.

Led by the President General of their town union, Engr Benjamin Emere, the people comprised of men, women, and youths alleged that Werelebe has kidnapped three persons yet to be seen till date.

According to Emere, within one year, little Chisom Nnadi (two years old girl); Chinonso Okorie (two years old girl); and Ekene Odoemela in his 30s have all disappeared, with proof that Werelebe adopted them.

He maintained that they have witnesses to prove that Werelebe kidnapped the three persons.

Further, he said, after arrest by the Police, the suspected kidnap kingpin was released to harass villagers after he allegedly paid N5million to the police.

Emere stated that villagers now live in fear because "he threatens every now and then that he will deal with us. We live in the fear of the unknown".

The people called on the Imo state Commissioner of Police, Mr Chris Ezike to intervene for justice to reign over the " heinous activities of Okwudiri Werelebe in our community ".

Further, the people called for the release of their villager arrested on Tuesday following complaints by Werelebe. 

The President General said " For the sake of justice, we request that this case which is a crime against humanity be charged to court without further delay. The parents of the missing children are living in agony and perpetual discomfort. One of our brothers, Edwin Obijiaku is unlawfully being held in Police custody as we write and the suspect is allegedly working to have him remanded in prison custody".

The crux of the matter

The kidnap and murder of Rev Fr Cyriacus Onunkwo of the Orlu Catholic diocese by 32 years old ex-corporal Jude Madu turned the heat on the police. Fr Onunkwo returned home from abroad to organize the funeral rites of his father, Celestine Onunkwo before he was kidnapped and killed.
Others who participated in the crime were Izuchukwu Okafor ,28 years from Ukwukwa in Azia in Anambra state; Cyril Onyema, 29,from Okwelle In IMO state;  Emmanuel Ozuigbo, 29 years from Ezeagu in Enugu state; Victor Ikechukwu, 33,from Obowo in IMO state; and Ifechukwu Nwosu, 28,a native Azia in Ihiala Local Government Area.
CP Chris Ezike, the Commissioner of police swung into action using modern tracking technology, the suspects were rounded up while the telephone of the slain priest, including his wrist watch were recovered from two out of the six suspects .
Hear Ezike: "the investigating  team  using forensic technology and backed up by hard work, commitment, passion and hunger for success arrested ex corporal Jude Madu who was found in possession of late Rev Fr Onunkwo's infinix telephone handset".
Again Imo people jubilated when Imo State Police command arrested and shot to death 27 year old most wanted armed robber in Imo State, Ihechi Nwankwo.
Nwankwo who hailed from Amaumara in the Ezinihitte Local Government Area of the state had been on the wanted list of the command for a long time.
Imo State Police spokesperson, Andrew Enwerem (SP) had said Nwankwo was declared wanted following repeated crimes leveled against him which included the robbery of N8m withdrawn by a bank customer at Access Bank at Ahiara junction on August 8, 2017; another is the robbery of N650,000 withdrawn at Ahiara junction by one Jovita Enwerem ,at gun point on June 21 amongst other crimes.
The syndicate led by Nwankwo, masterminded the robbery attack on a Chinese expatriate in Owerri in May, took away his N10million which he had withdrawn from the bank and also killed his police orderly ,an Inspector of Police.
SP Enwerem while speaking on how Nwankwo was caught disclosed that "on September 28,the state police command control room was alerted of a robbery attack along wetheral road Owerri that a customer of the wetheral road branch of Zenith bank had gone to the bank to withdraw N50million but on his way back along Wetheral road, they were confronted by a dare devil armed robbery gang operating with an Ash colored Toyota Corolla with Number plate ABJ 951 AA that blocked the traffic and immediately opened fire on the police escorts".
Enwerem explained that "the criminals escaped the robbery scene with their vehicles riddled with bullets. But in an attempt to ensure the apprehension of the hoodlums, the neighbouring states were contacted to be on the lookout  and they were intercepted in Umuahia ,Abia state where they engaged the operatives in a gun duel".
While Nwankwo was gunned down, others with bullet injuries and the Ash Coloured Toyota Corolla car used by the hoodlums were apprehended".
Further, Enwerem said investigations have proved that the elder brother of the deceased ,One Chibuike Nwankwo, currently 42 years old and one Chukwudi Obinwanne,a native of Ugiri in Isiala Mbano LGA of the state are currently being held at SARS cell for serious bank robbery cases.
"Deceased suspect was also further identified by one Chibuike Nwankwo, the elder brother to the suspect and Chukwudi Obinwanne residing at number 150 Nwadikor street Port Harcourt who is already in police custody in connection with series of armed robbery operations".
Though, two suspects arrested alongside Nwankwo by the police have denied the allegations leveled against them.

Zenith bank robbery: Imo Police arrest gun runner Pastor

Just recently , a 36 years old Michael Chiedozie Anochima, Pastor and founder of Jesus The Rock Of Salvation Healing Ministry, Uratta in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State was arrested by the operatives of the Federal Special Anti Robbery Squad, following his alleged involvement in the February 22, 2017, Zenith bank robbery attack.

Anochima was arrested by Federal SARS of the Imo Police command on a Sunday, while officiating a Church service.

He was named by Chinonso Onwugbuchlam popularly called Ogolo as the gang's gun runner and pastor.

Ogolo is the last gang member of the Owerri Zenith bank robbers who engaged in hot gun fire exchange that left two policemen dead and one of the robbers.

Ogolo was said to have named the Pastor as the one who kept their arms and also prayed for their protection, to evade been caught.

Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Chris Ezike confirmed the arrest of the Pastor, saying it was a big breakthrough for the command.

Ezike said "yes it is true. We have arrested the Pastor and he with us .You know that criminal investigation is like kerosene, it spreads, the more you investigate a crime, the more it spreads and exposes everyone connected to it, no matter their location".

According to him, the command is working hard to ensure that anyone involved in the bank robbery incident does not walk about free saying " we will get everyone connected".

The Church members had attempted to cause mayhem but upon seeing Ogolo, the Pastor's countenance gave him away, an action that made members to flee in droves.

Imo Police nab dreaded kidnapper Mopol

As well, the Operatives of the Imo State Police command confirmed that two dreaded kidnappers terrorizing the State are in their custody. They kidnapped a lady in Agwa, within Oguta local government area of the State.

The kidnappers had double-crossed a lady whose identity the Police is keeping secret while she was driving a Hilux vehicle.

The State Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of operations, Wilfred Afolabi said she was intercepted while driving in a Hilux vehicle by three armed men driving a Toyota Camry.
He said that immediately they received the distress call, all exit routes were cordoned off, to nab the fleeing men and their victim.

Afolabi said "it took the expertise of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Ogbaku, as he and his men intercepted them on Akwauro road where they started firing the Police without provocation. While one was gunned down immediately, two escaped".

While the first one who identified himself as Mopol was gunned down and caught immediately; the other one Ifeanyi Ashiegbukwelem was caught about thirty minutes later where he was recuperating over gun shot wounds he sustained in a bush in Okwuzara community in Mbaitoli local government area of Imo State.

Mopol while answering questions said he is 29 years old but refused to mention his community. While he was still been paraded, the police nabbed his gang member, Ifeanyi and paraded him too.

On his part, Ifeanyi said he is 29 years old and hails from Umudim in Atta community in Ikeduru local government area of the state.

The Police boss said the AK 47 recovered from the gang will undergo ballistic tests to ascertain if it is Police property adding that the Police will not stop from confronting crime.

Further, he said "Ifeanyi was caught in the bush while he was waving a faded white handkerchief and trying to shoot at Policemen searching for him, but they saw him and disarmed him".

Imo Police recover 2615 guns, firearms

To ensure firearms are in safe hands , the Imo State Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike displayed a total of 2615 guns, and firearms recovered through voluntary submission and arrests to the media.

This is even as he alerted residents to be vigilant as criminals now waylay late returnees from work by the gate, saying it is a new tactic of robbery.

The Police boss said 168 guns; 99 cartridges; 2323 ammunitions; 25 empty magazines were recovered consisting of 19 English pistols; 19 locally made pistols and 36 guns; 9 AK 47 rifles; and 2 AR 70 rifles.

Others are 28 pump action; 3 Madison rifles; 11 double barrel guns; 99 cartridges; 2323 ammunitions; and 25 empty magazines. 

According to him, the benefits of the mop up exercise has automatically led to "a reduction in the number of light and small but dangerous weapons within the Imo polity; a reduction in crime of various dimensions like kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism/cult related violence and brigandage".

According to him, the time for voluntary submission of arms has been extended to allow more people to submit them, even as he noted that the Police uses persuasion and mediation to make people submit their firearms.

The Police boss stated that persons arrested in connection with arms recoveries that were not voluntarily made, are facing different charges in the courts.

He gave a piece of advice:  " I advise late returnees to watch the corners of their house before alighting from the car or honking their horns for the gate to be opened for them. Miscreants now use it as a new device to gain access and hold people to ransom right in their homes", Ezike warned.

Crime drastically reduced in Imo - Okorocha

Elated Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State had to recant his worries when he said crime rate in the state has been reduced drastically even as he commended the State Police command for effective policing.

Okorocha made the disclosure during the commissioning of crime fighting refurbished vehicles at the State Police command.

Represented by his Chief of Staff, Chief Uche Nwosu, Okorocha stated that since the assumption of office by Mr Chris Ezike as the Commissioner of Police, the command has reduced criminal activities in the State to the barest minimum.

He disclosed that funds have been approved for the different security agencies to refurbish their vehicles, adding that it includes the Army, Police, and Nigeria Security Civil and Defense Corps (NSCDC).

He said, "Mr Commissioner sir, you have done better than your predecessor. These vehicles remind me of the Structural Adjustment Programme which is that vehicles can be refurbished to their almost new state and I commend your capacity to turn things around".

According to him, it takes a man of vision and capacity to think and also know how to do it. And I commend your capacity and capability".

On his part, the State Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike stated that crime is on a downward trend in the State.

He disclosed that raids on criminal hideouts will be enhanced based on intelligence and information provided by the public.

Ezike said " let me thank our people for always providing useful information. I assure you that we will continue raids on criminal hideouts in the different localities. While we will continue our visibility policing, so that anywhere you turn, you will see Police personnel protecting lives and properties".

Ezike disclosed that a total of 15 vehicles have been refurbished to enhance policing in the State.


Though, the police efforts are commendable , there is need for human rights and due diligence to be followed to avoid suffering , arresting and intimidating innocent citizens in a bid to show that the police command is working. This is because aspersion cast on any innocent citizen has reduced him before right thinking members of the society. 
By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
Our Kinsman is kidnapping our children and some policemen are giving him protection.......Imo villagers Our Kinsman is kidnapping our children and some policemen are giving him protection.......Imo villagers Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, May 04, 2018 Rating: 5

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