CP Philip Maku of Ebonyi Police Command briefing newsmen in his office
Police in Ebonyi have confirmed the arrest of 23 suspected criminals in different parts of the state warning that there would be no hiding place for criminals in the state.
Mr Philip Maku, Ebonyi Commissioner of Police stated this at a press briefing with newsmen on Friday in Abakaliki.
According to him, the suspected hoodlums are in different parts of the state for involvement in criminal activities.
He extolled officers of the command for their gallantry and dedication to crime fighting in the state assuring that police would not rest on their oars until they cleared the state off criminal elements .
The police boss said that efforts would be made to sustain current achievements made in containing crime and criminal activities in all parts of the state.
He said: “I want to sound it loud and clear that criminals have no place in Ebonyi as we are poised to match them, fire for fire and no going back to that.
” I will continue to do my utmost best to sustain the tempo and assure the residents of the state of the Command’s preparedness to entrench quality policing services that will stand the test of time, especially in these ember months where criminals may be on the loose.
“I wish to reiterate our sustained effort and unwavering commitment to the actualization of a crime free state where the unsavory activities of the criminal merchants desperate to make a living at the expenses of the law abiding citizens will not be tolerated.”
The CP said that the arrested suspected criminals were involved in cases of conspiracy ; armed robbery, cultism, attempted murder, malicious damage, assault occasioning harm and inciting communal war.
“On Aug 30, based on a distress call from one Cletus Madukwe , a native of Ishiagu in Ivo LGA of the state that a group of people were destroying houses and property there, our quickly mobilised to the area.
“Following the report, the police operatives swung into action and arrested twelve (12) suspects, all male.
“The suspects alleged that they were hired by one Mr Kennedy Agbai who is now at large and wanted by the police.
“Items recovered from them include; three locally made single barrel guns, one double barrel gun, five live cartridges and two expended cartridges, two matchets and one torchlight, ” he said .
The police boss added that other items recovered from the suspects include; four Sledge hammers, one wooden hammer, one digger, a box of snuff and a Tecno mobile phone.
” The suspects have made useful statement to the police and confessed that they are all natives of Akara in Isikwato LGA of Abia state
“Preliminary investigation revealed that there is an outstanding age long land dispute between Ndiobasi and Ndi-heme, communities in Ivo LGA of the State which the court judgment was decided in favor of Ndiobasi community.
“This prompted Ndi-heme community to go on an appeal.
“While the appeal process is still on, the defence council to Ndiobasi community, Mr Kennedy Agbai took laws into his hands.
“He allegedly hired heavily armed men numbering about 30 who stormed Ndiheme community in Ishiagu and damaged over 10 houses; killed livestocks and inflicted machete injuries on innocent citizens.
“Two persons; Mrs Patricia Mbam and Chibuike Kela were left unconscious, while the victims are currently receiving treatment in a hospital at the area,” he added.
Maku said that effort were in top gear to arrest the mastermind, Mr Agbai to answer for his alleged crime.
Maku further revealed that officers attached to Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) on Aug 4 foiled a robbery attempt at the Udensi axis of Abakaliki.
He said: “Following a distress call at Udensi on August 4, that robbers were operating at the area, operatives of the command attached to SARS responded to the call unfortunately, the robbers fled before their arrival.
“Also, on August 11, information reached our men that armed robbers were operating at No. 8 Ojeowerri Street Abakaliki.
“SARS operative swooped on them and arrested one of the suspects while others escaped.
“One locally made made revolver with six rounds of live ammunition and one expended amunition were recovered from him.
“The suspects made useful statements to the police and led the operatives on follow up investigation to their hideout at Omege avenue, Abakaliki.
“The other gang members on sighting the policemen opened fire on them, during the gun duel, two of the robbers sustained various degrees of bullet wounds while others fled the with bullet wounds.
“The injured suspects were rushed AE-Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, for medical treatment but were confirmed dead by a medical practitioner on duty.”
According to Maku, two of the suspects confessed their involvement in the alleged crime adding that the members of the seven-man gang were among inmates freed at a recent the jail delivery exercise by the state government due to COVID 19 pandemic.
The suspects further confessed to be members of a syndicate who have been terrorizing residents and burgling shops within the Abakaliki metropolis.