By Izunna Okafor, Awka
It was a victorious outing for the men and officers of the Anambra State Police Command, as they neutralized a top criminal gang leader, popularly known as Sampolo, alleged to have championed and been involved in various criminal and terrorizing activities in the state.
The police also arrested a native doctor and four other persons during the operation in Oba, Idemili South Local Government Area of the state.
It was gathered that the gang, over the weekend, attacked and kidnapped four persons (two each) in Oko, Orumba North Local Government Area and in Ekwulobia, Aguata Local Government Area respectively.
According to reports, the gunmen had entered Oko through Nanka for the kidnap operation and almost succeeded but for the prompt intervention of the police special force acting on a tip-off which engaged them in gunfire battle.
Reports also said while one of the gang members was killed during the operation, others escaped with various degree of injuries.
It was also gathered that the gunman killed at Oko was identified as a former vigilante who was part of a four-man gang that had been involved in high profile killings and kidnapping around the area.
Confirming the development, the State’s Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga said the Command received distress call about the kidnap of two persons at Oko, and while on their trail, they learnt that the gang had kidnapped two more persons at Ekwulobia, and quickly pursued them and succeeded in tracking them down.
Ikenga said: “Police operatives working with the vigilante stormed the location, on Sunday, rescued the four victims and arrested one Emeka who was suspected of complicity.
“Upon interrogation, he confessed to the crime and led detectives to hideout of his gang in Oba, Idemili South, where a shootout ensued. The gang leader, one Chinedu Ajogu, (a.k.a. Sampolo) was gunned down, and five other persons including their native doctor, were arrested for interrogation.”
According to Ikenga, items recovered at the hideout include one sub-machine gun, one beretta pistol, two locally-made revolver pistol, a dagger, one Biafran flag and a pair of ESN uniform, two berets, two web belts, assorted charms and one Acura SUV vehicle, which was said to have been recently snatched from a Reverend Father in Awgbu.