Enugu police parade 83 criminal suspects, warn unrepentant criminals

Enugu state Police Command has arrested 83 criminal suspects for various offences including abduction, kidnapping, armed robbery, murder, defilement, vandalism in different parts of the state.

Pix- The suspects

Commissioner of Police,Enugu State Command, Kanayo Uzuegbu disclosed that during the  first press briefing and parade of criminal suspects and exhibits in year  2024.

Briefing newsmen at Press headquarters, on Tuesday, the Commissioner of Police said many of the arrested suspects have been arraigned in court and remanded in the Nigerian Correctional Service Custodial Centre, while others shall be prosecuted accordingly once investigations were concluded.

Pix- CP Uzuegbu

According to him, 20 abduction or kidnapped victims  were rescued, 46  firearms of different calibres  recovered,125 ammunitions of different calibres were recovered, 35 motor vehicles were recovered , 6 tricycles recovered and 15 motorcycles were also recovered .

Giving the run down of the achievements of the Command within the period,Uzuegbu said, operatives of the Command serving in the Operations Department, on January 26, 2023 at about 2 p.m., arrested one Omeje Chibuike aged 25, of Edem-Ani in Nsukka Local Government Area, Benedict Isaac aged 30, of Isi-Uda Nkerefie in Nkanu East LGA, and Nomeh Promise Nnakwado aged 23, of Onunweke in Ezza North LGA of Ebonyi State for armed robbery

“Their arrest is as a result of surveillance mounted, after them and their armed cohorts at large had, on January 24, 2024 at about 7 p.m., robbed a female victim of her money and other belongings. They also snatched her car and attempted to abduct her to an unknown destination. She, however, resisted, forcing them to escape with the vehicle. The suspects confessed to the crime and the commission of other heinous crimes within Enugu metropolis, while the car, a black-coloured Toyota Camry (Spider), was recovered from them”, he said .

Pix-CP Uzuegbu and some management team

Uzuegbu’s statement read in parts:

“Police Operatives serving in the Command’s Anti-Kidnapping Squad, with support from their counterparts in Awkunanaw Police Division and other Police units, in the month of January and in different locations of Abia, Anambra, Enugu and Imo States, arrested Egbo Michael (alias “Ejima”) aged 32, of Umuedeachi-Amechi in Enugu South L.G.A.,

b. Patrick Tochukwu Onwurah (alias “Jumping Chicken”) aged 37, of Umunze in Urumba South L.G.A. of Anambra State (he is the coordinator and receiver of all the snatched vehicles),

c. Mazi Chukwuebuka aged 29, of Lokpaukwu in Umunneochi L.G.A. of Abia State (he is a mechanic and specialized in deactivating tracking devices installed in snatched vehicles)

d. Ndubuisi Akanonu aged 48, of Ezinachi in Okigwe L.G.A. of Imo State (receiver of a snatched vehicle),

e. Nwadi Obinna aged 43, of Lokpanta Ezemekwu in Umunneochi L.G.A.of Abia State (specialized in changing the  engine numbers of snatched vehicles)

“Ongoing investigations reveal that the suspects and cohorts at large perpetrated several acts of kidnapping, armed robbery and car snatching in different locations of Enugu metropolis. Further revealed is the fact that the suspects obtained ransom sums totaling about ten million naira (N10,000,000.00) from four kidnapped victims, whose vehicles were also snatched and sold between October and December 2023.

“Further discreet investigation is ongoing, while exhibits so far recovered from them include: one ash-coloured Toyota Corolla, one red-coloured Toyota Venza, one coloured ash-coloured Toyota Camry 2.4 model, and a black-coloured Toyota Camry (Spider) car. The suspects will be arraigned in court once investigations are concluded. 

Pix- The Suspects

Uzuegbu disclosed that acting on a diligently gathered intelligence, Police Operatives serving in Uzo-Uwani Police Division, on January 18, 2024 at about 4 p.m., arrested the following male suspects:

a. Henry Ikenna Okafor aged 29, 

b. Charles Eze aged 23, 

c. Amobi Okeke ‘m’ aged 33

d. Chukwuma Agu 38

e. Emmanuel Udealor (a.k.a. “Alhaji”) aged 44

f. Obeta Friday aged 21

g. Ekwe Ikechukwu aged 35

h. Ugwu Osmond Osita aged 49

i. Nzekwe Chukwuebuka Fidelis aged 25

j. Kingsley Aniche aged 35 and

k. Ikowa Isaiah aged 29

According to him, the first two suspects, who identified and led the Operatives to the arrest of the other suspects, confessed to having carried out several criminal acts of kidnapping, armed robbery and murder within the Adani community and other parts of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area.

“Notable among the suspects’ confessed criminal acts include the murder of the traditional ruler of Adani Community, Igwe Ezugwu Patrick, in the night hours of December 24, 2023; the kidnapping of one Honourable Vitalis Nwankwo and four others, who were later released after the payment of ransom; and the attempted murder of the Chairman of the Neighbourhood Watch Group in the Adani community. Further discreet investigations are ongoing,” he said.

The Commissioner of Police said ,”following surveillance mounted, Police Operatives serving in Awkunanwa Police Division of the Command, on January 9, 2024 at about 5.30 p.m., arrested one Moses Okechukwu Chigbuogu ‘m’ 29, of Okporo in Orlu LGA of Imo State, in a lodge along Ozalla Road in Nkanu East LGA, while others escaped. His arrest led to the recovery of a snatched Honda Accord car with registration number: NCH 818 AA. 

“Ongoing investigation reveals that the suspects and cohorts at large, on January 4, 2024 at 10.30 p.m., trailed their male victim to his residence at Topland, Awkunanaw, Enugu, from where they carjacked and abducted him to an unknown destination. They further transferred the sum of six million (N6,000,000.00) from his account to some online digital microfinance banks (names withheld). Further discreet investigation into the case is ongoing.

“Acting on credible information and operational surveillance, Police Operatives of the Command serving in Ozalla Police Division, on January 8, 2024 at about 12.30 p.m., arrested the following male suspects at Four Corners’ Junction, Ozalla, Nkanu West Local Government Area. They include: Onyeka Asiegbu aged 23, of Umuchu in Aguata LGA of Anambra State, Samuel Nnadika aged 35, of Orlu in Imo State, and Charles Chukwuemeka aged 24, of Umuaji LGA of Delta State.

“The suspects confessed to having snatched a dark-blue-coloured Lexus IS 250 saloon car, they were found fixing, from its owner in Abakpa-Nike Enugu at about 10.30 p.m. of the preceding night, and that they were about moving the vehicle to Imo State to sell it, when the Operatives swooped on them”, Uzuegbi said.

He disclosed that  vehicle was recovered, while further discreet investigations conducted by Operatives serving in the Command’s CP Monitoring Unit, led to the arrest of two additional male suspects namely: Ekene Okenwa aged 29, of Amurri in Nkanu West LGA, and Eze Obinna aged 23, of Inyi in Oji-River LGA. One grey-coloured Toyota Sienna and a red-coloured Mercedes Benz car were further recovered, while additional discreet investigation is ongoing.

“On February 10, 2024 at about 4.50 p.m., Police Operatives of the Command serving in Nsukka Urban Police Division, while on investigative operation to apprehend some suspects at Ukpata in Umulokpa community of Uzo-Uwani LGA, were attacked by unknown armed hoodlums, who opened fire on them. The gallant Operatives swiftly returned fire at a superior level, forcing the miscreants to abandon several exhibits and escaped with varying degrees of gunshot wounds.

“The abandoned exhibits recovered include: one Berretta pistol with one round of .9mm live ammunition; one Pump Action gun loaded with seven live cartridges; one Top Star motorcycle without registration number; two assorted mobile phones; and other exhibits,” he said.

The Commissioner of Police said ,manhunt of the hoodlums is underway, while members of the public and owners of medical facilities are advised to promptly report person or persons sighted with gunshot wounds to the nearest Police Station.,

pix- CP Uzuegbu( 2nd L)

He disclosed that Tactical Police Operatives serving in the Anti-Cultism Squad of the Command, in the morning hours of January 14, 2024, arrested one Nwauzor Obinna ‘m’ (a.k.a. “Bobo”) aged 23, of No. 2 Aniazodo Street, Ugbene 1, Abakpa-Nike, Enugu while others escaped. His arrest came after the Operatives, guided by credible information, busted the criminal hideout of alleged members of Black Axe confraternity in a bush at New Jerusalem in Ugwuaji Awkunanaw community of Enugu South Local Government Area.

“Ongoing investigation shows that the suspect is the chairman of Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT’s) branch of the Black Axe Confraternity, also known as “Kilimanjaro”. It further shows that the suspect was involved in a clash with members of rival Vikings Confraternity, in which he was injured, arrested by the Police and taken to the hospital for treatment on August 11, 2022. 

“While on hospital for treatment, the suspect contacted and instigated a reprisal attack on the rival cult group, through one David Njom ‘m’, who had since been arrested, arraigned in court and remanded in Correctional Custodial Centre for similar case of cultism and murder. 

Pix- Some of suspects

“The reprisal attack led to the murder of one Chukwuemeka Oguejiofor ‘m’ (alias “Nwameyanky”) on August 13, 2022, after which the suspect secretly escaped from the hospital. The suspect confessed to the crime and will be arraigned in court once investigations are concluded”, Uzuegbu said.

Acting on credible information, Police operatives of the Command serving in Awkunanaw Police Division, on January 25, 2024 at about 2.40 a.m., arrested one Udeh Tochukwu ‘m’ aged 20, of No. 11, Douglas Street, One-Day, Awkunanaw Enugu, Awolowo Adamu ‘m’ aged 20, of 7-Up Second Gate, Agbani Road, Enugu, and Kelechi Ibe ‘m’ aged 24, of Mgbowo in Awgu LGA. 

The Police boss said  suspects were arrested while vandalizing underground armoured cables supplying power to the street lights along Agbani Road, Enugu. A yet-to-be estimated quantity of the vandalized cables and two pickaxes were recovered from the suspects.

 Pix- CP Uzuegbu

The Commissioner thanked the Governor of Enugu state,Dr. Peter Mbah’, Journalists and  people of Enugu State for the support the Command received in 2023, saying, “I wish to specially thank the Executive Governor of Enugu State, His Excellency, Dr. Peter Ndubuisi Mba, for the immense support his Administration has continued to extend to the Police in the State.

“In the same vein, I profoundly thank and appreciate the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, Ph.D, NPM, for his visionary and pragmatic leadership style, which have brought about the policing strides recorded in Enugu State and Nigeria as a whole.

“Additionally, I express my immense gratitude to my colleagues in sister security agencies and the entire security stakeholders in Enugu State, for all the collaborative support we enjoyed in 2023, and which has continued into this new year 2024.

“I also want to thank and appreciate my Officers and Men for their diligence, hard work and dedication to duty, which have resulted in the operational successes recorded. I urge them to remain focused and committed to actualizing the mandates of the Nigeria Police Force in Enugu State.

“I wish to maintain that discipline remains the bedrock of the Nigeria Police Force. Hence, I caution the Officers and Men of Enugu State Command to shun acts of corruption, unprofessionalism and moral debasements, which bring with them severe disciplinary consequences. They must remain professional, firm, upright and diligent in the performance of their duties.”

He warned unrepentant criminals to turn over a new leaf, as they shall more than ever, turn up the heat and make Enugu State more uncomfortable for them and their activities. “And if they fail to repent, then we shall stop at nothing to ruthlessly deal with them”, Uzuegbu warned.

He cautioned rumour mongers to desist from the act:. He said, “I also want to strongly caution rumour mongers, rabble-rousers and peddlers of fake, misinformative and disinformative news in Enugu State to desist forthwith, as the Police would not hesitate to deal decisively with anyone found wanting, in accordance with extant laws, particularly the Cybercrime Act.

“There is no doubt that the task of tackling the increasing security challenges in our society is daily becoming daunting. Nonetheless, the assurance I bring the way of the good people of Enugu State is that we will remain focused and unflinching in our commitment to enthrone a crime-free and peaceful environment for all and sundry to thrive in their legitimate enterprises,” he said.

He urged the citizenry to remain law-abiding, security conscious and continue to support the Police, through the provision of credible and actionable security information; while also reporting suspected criminals and their activities to the nearest Police Station.

Author: Maureen Ikpeama

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