By Izunna Okafor, Awka
Anambra State Police Command has dismissed the media publications alleging that some citizens of the United States of America were recently killed in Anambra State by Unknown Gunmen.
The State Police Commissioner, CP Echeng Echeng debunked this on Thursday while briefing newsmen at the headquarters of the State Police Command, in Amawbia.
According to him, seven persons (comprising three US consulate officials and four Mobile Police escorts) were killed during the attack that occurred along Atani/Osamela road in Ogbaru Local Government Area (LGA) of the State, at about 2.pm on Tuesday; while two officials of the consulate are yet to be found.
He said, “As you are probably aware, a team of officials from the Lagos Consulate of the United States of America and their police escorts (USA) were ambushed on 16/05/2023 between 12:00hours and 14:00hours, along Atani/Osamala road in Ogbaru Local Government Area (LGA) of Anambra State by suspected Eastern Security Network ESN/ Indigenous people of Braifa, IPOB.
“Information about the incident was received by Anambra State Police Command, through an official of the consulate, at about 14:30 hours. Consequently, a joint team of Mobile Policemen and troops of the Nigerian Navy stationed in Onitsha was immediately deployed to the area. Upon arrival at the scene of the incident, the joint security team sighted and engaged the assailants in a shoot-out but they escaped through a nearby forest.
“Yesterday – 17/05/2023, joint security forces comprising police tactical teams from the Command and troops of the Nigerian Army as well as the Nigerian Navy raided a camp in Ugwuaniocha community of Ogbaru LGA, which was suspected to be the hideout of the assailants, but discovered that it had been deserted. Two persons of interest were arrested and they currently assisting the police in the investigation. The criminal camp was razed down by the joint security team.”
“The preliminary investigation conducted by the command, following the incident, revealed that five male officials of the USA consulate and four armed Mobile Police escorted from Lagos on a mission to assess the impact of erosion in Ogbaru LGA were travelling in a convoy of two vehicles when they suddenly came under attack by armed men who targeted them with gunfire and set their vehicles ablaze.
“Regrettably, seven persons (including three of the consulate officials and four Mobile Police escorts) were murdered during the attack while two other officials of the consulate are yet to be found. The deceased police officers include *Inspr. Bukar Adams, Inspr. Friday Morgan, Inspr. Adam Andrew and Inspr. Emmanuel Lupata* all of Squadron 23, Police Mobile Force, Lagos. _No USA citizen was amongst the casualties._
“Information from the USAID authority disclosed that five (5) of their staff and four policemen who were involved in the attack are: Jefferson Obayuwane (RTD DSS personnel), Sunday Prince Ubong, Ekene Nweke, Hassan Etila, Avwuvie Kaye Monday, Bukar A. Kabuiki (Police), Emmanuel Lukpata (Police), Friday Morgan (Police), and Adamu Andrew (police).”
The Police Commissioner further revealed that the remains of the deceased persons have all been recovered and deposited in a morgue, while the state police command and other security agencies are working round-the-clock, in collaboration with the Government of Anambra State, to find and rescue the missing officials.
He further called on members of the public who can provide information about the identities and locations of the culprits, to kindly and timely assist the police with such information.
“On behalf of the Anambra State Police Command, I wish to seize this opportunity to condole the families and friends of the deceased persons as well as the USA Consul over this tragic incident. May I assure you all of the resolve and determination of the command and other security agencies to track down the perpetrators of these heinous crimes and bring them to justice,” he said.