The Anambra State Police Command has announced the arrest of 13 suspects for the alleged murder of a policeman and burning of four police vehicles during Thursday’sattack on a checkpoint along Onitsha/Owerri Road.
The announcement was made in a statement signed by Assistant Superintendent of Police Nkieruka Owude, Anambra State Police Command Public Relations Officer (PPRO) on behalf the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Garba Baba Umar.
A mob had attacked the checkpoint in protest over the killing of a woman and three children by an articulated vehicle, which a policeman at the checkpoint allegedly caused when he ordered the vehicle to stop.
The Anambra State Police Command said it received a distress call at about noon that over 100 protesters had massed at the checkpoint along Onitsha/Owerri Road, which was manned by a visiting Police Mobile Unit attached to 3 Police Mobile Force (PMF) Enugu.
The protesting mob killed one Uchenna Ezike, a sergeant; took away his AK-47 rifle, burnt four vehicles and destroyed part of Bontus group. A preliminary investigation into the matter, claimed the Police, revealed that the articulated vehicle, a Mercedes Benz 1513 lorry (Registration number Anambra 859 GDD), lost control at the checkpoint and knocked down a yet to be identified woman and three children.
The Police explained that on receipt of a distress call, Police patrol teams led by Divisional Police Officer Okpolo rushed to the scene to restore normalcy and arrested 13 suspects, including one Paul Igwe in whose custody the rifle of the deceased Police sergeant was recovered.
The statement added that the Commissioner of Police has ordered the conduct of a full-scale investigation to ascertain the actual cause of the incident and fish out all those involved. In addition, the statement said all the four victims of the incident, including the police officer were rushed to Toronto Hospital in Onitsha for medical attention but were certified dead on arrival by a medical doctor and their corpses were deposited at the mortuary for postmortem examination.