The Ebonyi State Police Command, on Monday, paraded 60 suspected bandits.
According to the command, the suspected bandits were arrested for conspiracy, armed robbery, murder and arson, among other crimes, adding that they were responsible for attacks on police stations and the killing of its personnel in the state.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Aliyu Garba, stated this while parading the suspects at the command’s headquarters in Abakaliki, saying rifles, a live tortoise, charms, as well as arms and ammunition were recovered from the suspects.
He noted that the hoodlums were also responsible for the destruction of facilities belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission in the state.
Garba stated, “Around 6.30pm on May 23, 2021, we acted on credible information that suspected criminals were meeting at Agubia Ikwo in the residence of one Ebube Ivom, 31, who is their suspected sector commander. The said meeting had in attendance a Cross River State-based native doctor (Ezemuo), who was invited to fortify members of the group with marks on different parts of their bodies, as antidotes to bullets in preparation for the attack on the Onueke Divisional Headquarters and the INEC office, both in the Ezza South Local Government Area of the state by 8.30pm on the same day.
“On the strength of the information, the command swiftly deployed a team of police operatives in collaboration with Neighbourhood Watch personnel of Ikwo; in the process, 39 male suspects, made up of indigenes of Ebonyi State and two non-indigenes from neighbouring Abia State, were arrested and large quantities of charms were recovered from them together with living creatures such as tortoise and hawk.
“Eight of the suspects made useful statements to the police, while one of them, Elom Daniel, 17, took police operatives to their hideout at Agbaja-Izzi community in the Abakaliki Local Government Area of the state, where the owner of the house escaped, leaving behind his wife and a child.
“Upon intensive search of the house/premises, the following items were recovered: one AK-47 rifle with 35 pieces of live ammunition; two AR rifles with eight pieces of live ammunition; eight magazines; two locally-fabricated Improvised Explosive Devices (tested and certified); five machetes; one police belt and some charms.
“Elom Daniel narrated that he specialised in drawing the map of any area planned to be attacked by the group before execution; he admitted that the meeting at their state sector commander’s residence was to attack the Onueke Divisional Police Headquarters, INEC office and the Ebubeagu security outfit on the above mentioned date.
“Daniel further stated that his group was responsible for the attack on the Army checkpoint at Amasiri in the Afikpo North Local Government Area of the state on March 26, 2021, where two Army officers were killed and their rifles taken away. He also claimed that his group was responsible for the attack on the Central Police Station, Abakaliki, during the #EndSARS protests, where a police inspector and one other were killed and the inspector’s rifle carted away.
“One of the AK-47 rifles recovered, when crossed checked, was found to be the same police rifle that was stolen by hoodlums from the late Inspector at the Central Police Station, Abakaliki, during the #EndSARS protests.
“Daniel further narrated that his gang was also responsible for the attack on the Onueke Police Station on January 8, 2021, which claimed the lives of three policemen, and the attack on the Nigeria Police Force animal branch personnel attached to the agricultural quarantine checkpoint, along Donkey Market, Ezzangbo in the Ohaukwu LGA of the state on March 23, 2021, where two assault rifles were carted away by the hoodlums. The two rifles are among the recovered rifles.”