Five suspects killed as mayhem continues in Imo
•Gov hails security forces for foiling attempt on police HQ
•Force denies killing civilians
•Bishops, others call for truce
Battle between gunmen and the police and military joint operations yesterday in Owerri, Imo State, left five dead, while a wounded police officer is in critical condition.
The hoodlums were reportedly heading towards the police headquarters in Owerri, before they were accosted, the spokesperson of Imo Police Command, Bala Elkana, a Superintendent of Police (SP), has confirmed.
Elkana disclosed that at the end of the duel, five hoodlums were killed, while four AK-47 rifles and a Hummer bus were recovered.
GOVERNOR Hope Uzodimma has commended the police, soldiers and other security agencies for repelling yesterday’s attempt on the police headquarters in Owerri.
Uzodimma, during a church service at the Government House Chapel, Owerri, promised that his government was doing everything humanly possible to restore peace and security in the land.
ALSO, gunmen have invaded the home of Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, in Ubulu-Ihejiofor, Oru West Local Council, razing completely his two houses.
Confirming the incident, Emelumba said he had a distress call from his relations about the heavy shooting and eventual invasion of his compound, adding that his security guard bolted on sensing danger.
IMO State Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, has denied claims of extra-judicial killings in Imo by police and military personnel.
Briefing journalists in Owerri, Yaro, instead, accused civilians of killing his men on duty, regretting the incident where policemen were allegedly “killed, roasted and eaten.”
He challenged people to present evidence of extra-judicial killings.
AMID the hullabaloo, about 50 bishops and other heads of faith-based organisations in Imo, after a meeting with Governor Uzodimma at the weekend, urged all the aggrieved persons to sheathe their swords and join the governor to restore peace and security of the state.
The clerics, who met at the Douglas House, Owerri, are from the Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Pentecostal and Evangelical Churches under the umbrella body of All Churches in Imo State (Christian Association of Nigeria).
They said the insecurity in the state had a political undertone, urging those who had hand to desist.
Methodist prelate, Dr. Samuel Uche, noted that peace would always bring development.
ALSO, elder statesman, Chief Sam Anokam, has called on all residents of the state to stop blaming the governor and desist from clapping for the state of anarchy in the state.
The estate surveyor and valuer told The Guardian in Owerri that the peace in Imo needed to be restored, stressing that calling for a state of emergency and resignation of the governor would not solve the problem.