Anambra ambush: Police arrest two suspects, confirm seven dead

Anambra State Police Command, yesterday, confirmed the arrest of two persons suspected in the ambush of a United States Consulate convoy, last Tuesday, which left seven people dead.
CP Echeng

CP Echeng
• HURIWA condemns attack
• Urges prosecution of Umahi for running over okada riders

Anambra State Police Command, yesterday, confirmed the arrest of two persons suspected in the ambush of a United States Consulate convoy, last Tuesday, which left seven people dead.
 
The state’s Commissioner of Police (CP), Echeng Echeng, who disclosed this at a briefing at the Police Command headquarters, Amawbia, said the two suspects were currently assisting the police in the investigation.
  
Echeng confirmed that seven persons including three of the consulate officials and four mobile police escorts were murdered during the attack, while two other officials of the consulate are yet to be found.
 
He revealed that the Police Command got the information through an official of the consulate, at about 14:30 hours same day, and a joint team of mobile policemen and troops of the Nigerian Navy stationed in Onitsha was immediately deployed to the area, leading to razing down of the criminal camp by the joint security team.
  
According to him, the remains of the deceased persons have all been recovered and deposited in a morgue, while the state Command and other security agencies are working round-the-clock, in concert with Anambra State government, to find and rescue the missing officials.
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CP Echeng called on members of the public, who can provide information about the identities and locations of the culprits, to kindly and urgently assist the police with such information.
 
He assured the resolve and determination of the command and other security agencies to track down the perpetrators of this heinous crime and bring them to justice.
 
“On behalf of the Anambra State Police Command, I wish to seize this opportunity to condole the families and friends of the deceased persons as well as the U.S. Consul over this tragic incident,” he added.

MEANWHILE, Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, condemned Tuesday’s gunmen attack on United States Embassy staff convoy, in the Amiyi/Eke Ochuche communities of Ogbaru Local Council of Anambra State, where the assailants killed four persons.
  
HURIWA, in a statement by its national coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, tasked security agencies to bring the perpetrators to book.
  
The United States Embassy staff members were on a humanitarian mission in the state before gunmen shot them dead in an ambush.
  
HURIWA said although no U.S. citizen was killed, those killed are nationalities of other nations or even Nigerians, including police officers.
   
The group called on the U.S. to consider imposing travel ban on governors of the South East region to compel them to act swiftly to end the mindless orgies of dastardly attacks and bloodshed in the zone.
  
Onwubiko said: “The killing and the attack on U.S. Consulate staff members, is shameful and a national disgrace to Nigeria and President Muhammadu Buhari, under whose watch kidnapping and violent killings by armed marauders have skyrocketed to an unimaginable and shocking height.
  
“This is condemnable and our security agencies must do all possible to bring the perpetrators to book.”
   
HURIWA also slammed Anambra State Police Command, for lacking actionable and displaying crass ignorance when the spokesperson of the Command, reportedly blamed the U.S. Embassy for sending a medical mission without prior information to the Police Command in Anambra State.
  
The group said this ignorance demonstrates that almost all the police commands in the South East of Nigeria, especially in Anambra State have got no functional intelligence generating mechanisms because the police in Anambra State ought to have known that a USA Embassy medical mission arrived in Anambra State and then suo motu provide fool-proof security services.
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“But because professionalism and discipline in the police is at the lowest ebb, the police sat back in their offices and were expecting notification just as the many junior operatives manning a kinds of road blocks in Anambra State would have been very busy extorting motorists so much so that they didn’t record that a US mission arrived,” the group noted.

ALSO, HURIWA has slammed the outgoing Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, for reportedly hitting motorcyclists in Abakaliki with his convoy, on his way to the airport, as well as alleged killing of three citizens of the state.
 
HURIWA called on the next administration in Ebonyi State to charge the governor for murder, when he is gone from office.

The rights group also encouraged civil rights bodies in the South East to assist the families of those killed by way of filing cases at the Federal High Court against the state, and then another matter against the person of the governor.
  
HURIWA said the governor should be personally held responsible for these mindless deaths and should be prosecuted in about two weeks after he loses immunity upon disengagement from the Office of Governor on May 29, 2023.
   
The group said allowing the governor to get away with this alleged impunity will be legally unpardonable.
  
HURIWA also expressed shock that no fewer than three persons who were indigenes of Ezza South Local Council, on Tuesday, lost their lives after the convoy of Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, rammed into their motorcycle.
   
HURIWA said media reports stated that the victims were on Muhammadu Buhari’s international airport road when an advance team rammed into them.
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It was gathered that the convoy had dropped Umahi at the airport located at Onueke, and was returning to town when the incident happened.
  
It was reported that the accident occurred shortly after the commissioning of a flyover at Abaomege in Onicha local government area, which was named after Prince Arthur Eze.
  
Prince Arthur Eze, together with the Governor Umahi, commissioned the flyover.
  
It was gathered that the governor left for Abuja shortly after the commissioning ceremony.
  
Prince Arthur Eze and the state deputy governor, Eric Kelechi Igwe, however, stepped down at the accident scene and consoled with the families of the victims, directed that the victims be rushed to hospital, and then zoomed off to Enugu State.
  
The motorcycle belonging to the victims and the Toyota Sienna minivan involved were destroyed beyond repair, though their names and the registration number of the ill-fated vehicle is yet to be identified at the time of filing this report.
  
When contacted for confirmation, the Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps in Ebonyi State, Uche Chukwura said she is yet to be briefed about the accident.
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