Again, gunmen have reportedly attacked and killed three policemen at a checkpoint in Agbani, the headquarters of Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The incident, it was gathered, happened Saturday morning around the railroad crossing in Agbani town.
The attack is coming barely 12 hours after some gunmen on Friday evening killed a former Commissioner for Rural Development, Ozo Onuzulike, and his elder brother, Elvis, in their hometown of Nkpokolo-Achi, in the Oji-River Council Area of the state.
Although the police had not confirmed the incident, sources told our correspondent that the gunmen stormed the checkpoint, which is close to the Agbani police station, around 8 a.m. and shot the three policemen dead at close range.
According to the source, the attack appeared as if the gunmen were already somewhere monitoring their activities before striking.
However, a resident of the area who witnessed the attack said, “The policemen were caught unaware because they were busy extorting Okada riders when the gunmen swooped on them.”
“If you see what they do here, you won’t pity them.” How can you be at a checkpoint in an area that has witnessed several attacks and relax while collecting money and giving change to Okada riders?
“Unfortunately, these criminals took advantage and attacked them. They shot three dead, and three others escaped with some gunshots. “The hoodlums carted away their guns and took the Ugboka – Nara Unateze road and escaped.”
Meanwhile, the Enugu State Police Command has not reacted to the attack.
Also, efforts to get the reaction of the command’s spokesman, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, were unsuccessful as he did not take his calls.
However, Ndukwe, in a statement in reaction to the killing of former Commissioner Onuzulike and his brother, said the command had launched a manhunt for the fleeing criminals.
He said two of the gunmen were killed by combined security operatives when they were trying to escape to Anambra State.
He said, “The preliminary report reveals that two of the gunmen, said to have infiltrated Oji-River from the neighboring Anambra community in the evening hours of Friday, attacked and murdered one Gabriel Onuzulike (identified as the former Chairman of Oji-River LGA and Commissioner in Enugu) and his brother at Nkpokolo-Achi in Oji-River LGA. They were neutralized by a joint police and army team.”
“The team swiftly responded to a distress call over the incident and intercepted the gunmen at the Inyi community of the same LGA as they were escaping into Anambra.”
“The team further recovered an AK-47 rifle with two magazines loaded with ammunition, while a Toyota Land Cruiser Jeep belonging to the deceased victims, as well as a Toyota Camry vehicle, which the gunmen attempted to snatch from another victim, and a RAV4 Jeep they used for the heinous criminal operation, among other incriminating items, were also recovered.”
Meanwhile, the manhunt for the assailants, many of whom escaped into a nearby forest with severe degrees of gunshot wounds in the ensuing gun duel as a result of the superior firepower of the Joint Team, is still ongoing. “Further development will be communicated.”
Hon. Onuzulike contested and lost the recent Peoples Democratic Party primary in his bid to represent the Aninri/Awgu/Oji River federal constituency in the House of Representatives.
He served the Ugwuanyi administration as a commissioner between 2015 and 2019. Prior to this, he equally served two terms as elected chairman of the Oji River Local Government Area Council.