By Izunna Okafor, Awka
The men and officers of the Anambra State Police Command, in collaboration with other sister agencies, have neutralized two gunmen in different operations at Okija in the Ihiala Local Government Area of the state at the weekend.
The Spokesperson of the Command, DSP Ikenga Tochukwu, disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Awka, the state capital on Sunday.
According to him, four automatic pump action riffles, four vehicles, four motorcycles, and other items were recovered from the suspects. He further added that police operatives in the state had intensified and improved operational positioning to respond to distress calls.
He said: ”Anambra State Security Forces comprising of the military and police, neutralized two gunmen, recovered four automatic pump action, one cutlass, one ash colour Lexus jeep 350 with reg. nos KJA- 666HE, one white Toyota Hilux jeep without reg nos., one white Toyota Corolla with reg. nos. HAL- 732RF, one sliver Highlander jeep without reg nos, four motorcycles without reg. nos.
“The recovery followed a distress call at about 9:30 am 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.
The PPRO added that “In another development, police operatives at about 3:30 pm on the same date while on 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 actions and one marchet recovered while others fled the scene.
“No casualty on part of the operatives and the situation has been brought under control. Meanwhile, Operation is still ongoing to apprehend the other fleeing gang members.”
Reacting to the development, the Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Echeng Echeng, commended and charged the operatives to sustain the tempo against the onslaught on criminal elements; even as he ordered that patrols be intensified and operational positioning improved to respond to distress calls in the state.