By Izunna Okafor, Awka
It was dramatic today, as members of the Anambra Vigilante Group, set ablaze a gunman suspected to be an armed robber in Awka, Anambra State capital.
According to eyewitness, the incident happened at Miracle Junction in Ifite Awka, UNIZIK Perm. Site., when a group of heavily-armed, numbering about six stormed the area, and engaged the security men in a serious gun battle.
Reports have it that the armed hoodlums had been terrorising the entire area, which is predominantly occupied by students, leading to the arrest of one of their members by the vigilante operatives, during one of their recent robbery operations in the area.
It was therefore learnt that these men had come to rescue one of their members from the custody of the Vigilante operatives, which led to the gun duel between them and the security operatives.
An eyewitness who spoke under the condition of anonymity said the suspected armed robbers shot down one of the security men during the gun battle, while three of them (the robbers) were caught by the security men, as bullets refused to penetrate their body.
He said: “They are not actually unknown gunmen, as some people are thinking, but they are armed robbers who had been terrorizing Ifite axis for a very long time.
“The vigilante group arrested and was holding one of their members, and then the remaining members decided to come and rescue him today, which made them engage the security men in gun battle. During the gun duel between them and the Vigilante group, one of the robbers shot and killed one of the Vgilante members.
“The armed robbers were actually six in number; but three of them later escaped, while the vigilante group killed one and handed one over to the police, and barbecued this particular one you’re seeing because bullets couldn’t penetrate his body. And they said he was even the one who shot and killed the security man that was shot dead during the gun battle.”
As at the press time, all efforts to get the reactions of the spokesperson of the Anambra State Police Command, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga on the issue, proved abortive, as he was yet to respond questions sent to him after several unsuccessful attempted calls.
Recall that the state’s Commissioner of Police, CP Echeng Echeng has warned the residents against jungle justice, following the increasing reports of jungle justices recently recorded in different parts of the state, including reports of how mob burnt three persons alive for stealing phone in Onitsha, how mob nearly burnt three other persons alive for robbing a student, and some other similar reports recorded in the state in less than one month.