The Ebonyi State Police Command has announced the arrest of a youth gang allegedly involved in the killing of a police officer attached to a Chinese mining company in the state.
DSP Loveth Odah, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, made the disclosure in a statement on Thursday in Abakaliki, the state capital.
Odah said that the deceased officer’s AK-47 rifle was also recovered.
“On April 25, the Site Manager of Tongyl Mining Company, Mkpumakwuokuko Izzi LGA of Ebonyi, Mr Joel Osaghele, reported that a youth gang from the area attacked them.
“Osaghele, who was in the company of a Chinese national, reported that the gang attacked them alongside three mobile police escorts, as they were moving the company’s property from the site to Abakaliki.
“He said that the gang led by one Ikechukwu Okanga, used logs to barricade the road at ‘four-corner junction’ and it took the intervention of the village head, Mr Sunday Nwamini for the company’s vehicles to pass,” he said.
The PPRO said that the youths re-grouped and ambushed the company’s vehicles at ‘Opefia’ junction and attacked the mobile policemen.
“They snatched the AK-47 rifle of Sgt. John Edeh, F/No: 442470, attached to 32 Police Mobile Force (PMF) Abakaliki, beat and stabbed him severally before shooting him on the head.
“Following the report, the Divisional Police Officers (DPO’s) in the area mobilised and led a team to the scene where the two other mobile policemen were rescued.
“The victim was rushed to the Alex-Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (AE-FETHA) for treatment but was later confirmed dead by a doctor,” Odah said.
He said the gang leader was consequently arrested while a rifle and a dagger were recovered from him.
“The state Commissioner of Police, Awosola Awotinde, has ordered a full-scale investigation into the matter to unravel the circumstances behind the attack,” the PPRO said.