By Abuchi Onwumelu
The Anambra State Police Command has paraded 34 male suspects, at the Command’s Headquarters, Awka, over varying degrees of crimes.
The male suspects, mostly in their mid-twenties and early thirties, were arrested at different locations in Anambra State for crimes ranging from armed robbery, cultism and bag-snatching.
Items recovered from the suspects included cash, locally made pistols, live cartridges, a laptop, axes, machetes, daggers, cult gears, a bag of cannabis sativa, stolen phones, charms, ATM cards, condom, meth cans and other dangerous items.
Parading the suspects, the new Commissioner of Police, CP John Abang, said the command was battle ready to rid the state of criminal elements.
He reiterated his assurance to Anambra citizens, both at home and in diaspora, that the Command would continue to work assiduously to ensure that Anambra State remained the safest in the country, noting that It was also pertinent to emphasize that the safety and security of life and property in the State would not be possible without the cooperation of the State Government and other well-meaning members of the public who, he said, continued to provide the Command with useful information on criminals and their hideouts.
CP Abang encouraged well-meaning members of the public resident in Anambra State to report any suspicious persons or movements to the nearest police station or through the Command’s emergency number – 07039194332 – for prompt action.
‘We are here today in order to keep you abreast with cases of interest to members of the public which the Command has recorded during the week under review.
‘You may recall that during my maiden Press Conference on the 11/7/2019 I made it very clear that the Command will redouble its efforts to stem the tide of crime and other security challenges in the State in line with the Inspector-General of Police’s, initiative code named, “Operation Puff Adder”, which the Command had launched since April, 2019.
‘The strategies put in place have started yielding positive results as follows: On the 14/07/2019 at about 8:00am, Puff Adder operatives deployed to Upper-Iweka, in conjunction with a patrol team attached to Okpoko Division, arrested one Sunday Igwe, aged 28, of Obibiezina in Owerri, Imo State; and one Ede Chigbo, aged 35, of Ozara in Nkanu East LGA of Enugu State respectively.
‘Suspects attacked, stabbed and robbed one Ubasineke Chinonye, a student of Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Imo State, at Upper-Iweka in Onitsha. Exhibits recovered from the suspects include one ladies hand bag, Techno k7 and knife used in stabbing the victim.
‘Meanwhile, victim was rushed to the hospital for medical attention and case is under investigation after which suspects would be charged to court for prosecution.
‘At about 12:06am, there was a distress call that armed robbers in a shuttle bus had stormed the premises of Down Town Hotel, Mbaukwu, and were about to rob lodgers there in.
‘Following the distress call, police patrol teams attached to “Operation Puff Adder” in conjunction with operatives attached to Central Police Station, Awka, rushed to the scene and arrested the following suspects:
‘John Eke, aged 35 years; Izuchukwu Enwelum, aged 32 years; Muodilum Anthony, aged 40 years and Umeadi Emmanuel Obinna, aged 36 years respectively.
‘Exhibits recovered from the suspects included: one fabricated revolver pistol, one live ammunition, weeds suspected to be cannabis sativa, an unmarked shuttle bus used by the suspects, cash sum of sixty thousand Naira, four handsets, ATM card, charms and other incriminating items. Case under investigation after which suspects would be charged to Court for prosecution,’ he said.
Continuing, Abang said that on the 13/07/2019 at about 5:30pm, following intelligence report, police detectives attached to Central Police Station (CPS), Awka, arrested one Chukwudi Okeke, aged 20 years, of Umuarama Village and Faith Esomchi, aged 19 years, of Umudioka Village, Awka respectively.
He said the suspects had on the 04/03/2019 at about 8:25pm, shot and snatched a tricycle from one Nwadoanwe Ndukwe of Umuagwali Village, Awka at Amaku General Hospital, Awka gate.
Abang disclosed that the case was transferred to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) who equally arrested the receiver one, Okechukwu Idoko, aged 30yrs of Umudioka, Awka and recovered the snatched Keke Tricycles.
‘Other Exhibits recovered from the suspects included one fabricated double barrel pistol, one toy gun and six live cartridges. Case is under investigation after which the suspects will be charged to court for prosecution,’ Abang said.
He also stated that police operatives attached to the Command’s “Operations Puff Adder”, in conjunction with the Special Anti-Cultism Unit (SPACS) arrested at various locations within the state, between 31/06/2019 to date, ninety suspected cultists in continuation of its raids on their hideouts and black-spots.
Said he, ‘From all the raids carried out, a total number of 90 suspects have been arrested.
Twenty-eight were screened out, twenty-eight suspects were charged to court. Twelve suspects were placed under police supervision for being under aged, while twenty-two others are undergoing investigation
‘Meanwhile, exhibits recovered from the suspects included five machetes, four axes, two daggers, four berets, one Laptop Computer, four improvised bunkers and some quantities of weeds suspected to be cannabis sativa.
‘Consequently, on the 08/7/2019 at about 11:pm, following intelligence report, Police detectives attached to Ogidi Division, in conjunction with the vigilante group, arrested at Nkwelle Ogidi, one Praise Okolie Tochukwu of the same address.
‘Suspect conspired with his accomplices now at large and snatched at gunpoint a Toyota Spider Car with registration number FJK 54 CC, from one Okpalaezekoli Ifeanyi of Omagba Phase 1, Onitsha, around 7:00pm, same date. Suspect confessed to the crime and the vehicle was recovered in his possession and registered as exhibit. Suspects charged to court and remanded in prison custody.’
The CP further disclosed that on the 09/7/2019 at about 9:30am, police detectives attached to Ogidi Division arrested one Nwali Chibuzor of Eke Nkpor in Idemili North LGA of Anambra State. He said the suspect had on the 01/07/2019, at about 7:08pm, allegedly snatched a tricycle from one Uche John within Nkpor area.
‘The tricycle was recovered from the suspect along Idemili Bus Stop, Nkpor and the number plate was changed from Anambra HAL 776 WQ to Enugu NSK 177 QW. Case is under investigation after which suspect will be charged to Court for prosecution,’ Abang said.