By Tony Okafor, Awka
The Embassy of United States of America has paid a courtesy call on the Navy Base, ONITSHA, Anambra State
as a follow up to the incident of attack on the US convoy in Ogbaru on 16 May 2023
During the visit, our correspondent learnt, the US delegation hailed the Navy for the the rescue of the two missing staff of the embassy by the Navy personnel in ogbaru.
The delegation, it was gathered was led by Mr Jim Suor, the regional security officer US Consulate in Lagos .
A source, who was privy to the visit told our correspondent said, ” The US delegation paid a courtesy visit on the Commander of the base, Navy Captain G Osuobeni on Saturday 20 May 2023 to appreciate the efforts of the Nigeria Navy for their response to the distress call and rescue of the 2 kidnapped US Embassy staff.
“The head of the US team stated that the US Government is highly appreciative of the efforts of security agencies in Anambra state particularly the efforts and supports of the Nigerian navy.
Recall that 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/Osamela road in Ogbaru Local Government Area (LGA) of Anambra State by hoodlum.
According to the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Echeng Echeng at a press briefing,”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 shot-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 Ugwuaneocha 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.