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General News of Tuesday, 16 August 2022


Police raid IPOB camp inside forest, exhume corpse of missing officer

The police in Enugu State said they have killed a gunman in a forest at Agu-Ibeje, Enugu-Ezike, a community in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of the state.

The police spokesperson in the state, Daniel Ndukwe, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.

He said the gunman was killed when police operatives raided a camp inside a forest.

The camp belonged to suspected members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Mr Ndukwe said the raid, described as “tactical and intelligence-driven”, was carried out between 11 and 12 August, following a directive from the Commissioner of Police in the state, Abubakar Lawal.

“The hoodlums, on sighting the operatives, engaged them in a gun duel which led to the neutralisation of one of them while several others escaped with varying degrees of gunshot wounds,” he said.

The police spokesperson said the operatives discovered a shallow grave in the camp where the corpse of a male police officer, who went missing on 30 July, was buried.

He said the operatives exhumed the body of the officer.

The slain police officer, Johnson Okpanachi, was serving in Igbo-North Police Divisional Headquarters, before his abduction, the police said.

A photograph seen by PREMIUM TIMES showed that the late officer had his hands tied.

Several arms and ammunition, including vehicles, were recovered from the suspects, according to the police spokesperson.

Mr Ndukwe, a deputy superintendent of police, said operatives also recovered another set of arms and weapons during a separate operation on 8 August.

He said the operation, carried out at about 9:15 a.m., was in response to a distress call when suspected IPOB members invaded and razed a house belonging to a local vigilante operative in Oduma, a community in the Aninri Local Government Area of the state.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Lawal, commended the operatives for the successful execution of the two operations without loss of any officer, Mr Ndukwe said.

Mr Lawal charged the officers to remain focused on the efforts to rid the state of criminals.

The police commissioner urged residents to remain law-abiding, vigilant and support the police with information to help in crime-fighting.

He also appealed to individuals and owners of medical facilities in the state to report to the police anyone with gunshot wounds.