By Ikeugonna Eleke
Joint security operatives in Anambra State Saturday, July 23, killed two gunmen in Okija, Ihiala Local Government Area of the state.
There had been news of gunshots in the early hours of Saturday, as criminals operated at Okija Junction, robbing passengers along the Onitsha-Owerri Expressway.
They were however countered by joint operatives of the police and Nigerian Army, who confronted the criminals after a tip off.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Anambra State, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the confrontation in a statement made available to newsmen in Awka, the state capital on Sunday.
He said four automatic pump action rifles, four vehicles, four motorcycles, and other items, were recovered from the suspects, adding that police operatives in the state had intensified and improved operational positioning to respond to distress calls.
He said, ‘Anambra State Security Forces, comprising the military and police, neutralized two gunmen, recovered four automatic pump action rifles, one cutlass, one ash colour Lexus Jeep 350 with reg. no KJA- 666HE; one white Toyota Hilux Jeep without reg number; one white Toyota Corolla with reg.
- HAL- 732RF; one sliver Highlander Jeep without reg no; four motorcycles without reg. nos.
‘The recovery followed a distress call at about 9:30am on 23/7/2022 (Saturday) along Onitsha/Owerri Expressway Junction leading to Okija Nkwo Market, where some hoodlums blocked the road and were robbing/extorting motorists.
‘The joint forces responded swiftly and engaged the hoodlums in a gun duel; neutralised one of the armed men, while others escaped the scene with bullet wounds.
‘In another development, police operatives at about 3:30pm on same date, while on a clearance operation, sighted another criminal gang at Nkwo Market,Okija, harassing sellers/buyers and residents in the area. The operatives engaged the armed men in a gun duel. One of the suspects was neutralised and two automatic pump action rifles and one machete, recovered, while others fled the scene.
‘No casualty on the part of the operatives and the situation has been brought under control. Meanwhile, operation is still ongoing to apprehend the other fleeing gang members,’ the PPRO said.