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Gunmen Abduct Monarch, Cabinet Chiefs, Attack Police Station In Imo

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Traditional ruler of Umueze community of Nguru Mbaise in Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State, His Royal Highness, Eze Charles Iroegbu, was on Thursday, kidnapped by gunmen.

This is just as another police station, Mbieri Divisional Police Headquarters, situated in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of the state was attacked.

It was learnt that Eze Iroegbu was kidnapped alongside his cabinet chiefs. It was gathered that the traditional ruler and his cabinet chiefs were returning from a traditional wedding at Mbano when they were kidnapped by some heavily-armed men.

The incident was said to have thrown the entire community into sorrowful mood. A source revealed that the kidnappers took the traditional ruler and his cabinet chiefs away, leaving the three vehicles they were travelling in behind.

When contacted on phone, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Orlando Ikeokwu, said the matter had not been officially reported to the police, adding that “we are not aware of the incident.”

Meanwhile, in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of the state, it was gathered from an indigene that the gunmen struck at about 1:00 a.m. and immediately released suspects in custody in the police station.

The gunmen also took away phones belonging to suspects and police operatives at the division.

A police source at the division, however, told newsmen that the gunmen were repelled by policemen on duty.

The police source said: “We resisted them but they overpowered us. They had more sophisticated weapons. They took all the phones they saw, released suspects when they gained access and vandalised the police station.”

The source said the attackers kidnapped a policeman and injured two others. The police spokesperson also confirmed the attack to newsmen on Thursday.

He said a policeman was missing, while two others were injured following the resistance put up by personnel on duty at the station.

Ikeokwu also confirmed that some suspects detained at the police facility were freed by the attackers, just as he added that the police had already commenced investigation into the attack.

Meanwhile, the Asere community in the coastal area of Ese Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State reportedly came under attack on Wednesday night after gunmen laid siege to the community, setting over 15 houses on fire.

The attack, according to residents, was said to be a reprisal by a gang that claimed the people of the community were providing information to security agencies on their activities. The source said the hoodlums invaded the community at night and attacked residents, before setting ablaze no fewer than 15 houses and structures. Women in the community have, however, protested over the attack, just as they called for the arrest of the gang members.

The protesting women, who were half dressed, said the attackers were known members of the community who are angry because the Joint Task Force had been clamping down on their activities.

Speaking on the development, the paramount ruler of Agadagba Kingdom, Oba Zachueus Doubra, explained that he received report that one of his subjects, who had been a recalcitrant, invaded Asere to burn down the community.

Oba Doubra said: “I sent my chiefs and some police officers to the community and I was informed that 14 houses were burnt down, nine other houses vandalised. Many were rendered homeless. Many ran into the bush in under-wears.”

The state’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Tee-Leo Ikoro, confirmed the incident, just as he added that: “The police are already aware of the incident and are on the trail of the perpetrators.”

In another development, the traditional ruler of Ode community in Akure North Local Government Area of state, the Ajagunode of Ode community, Oba Adewale Boboye, has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police over an alleged murder, arson and wanton destruction of his property by some assailants who invaded his palace.

The monarch alleged some individuals within the community to have carried out the killing of three persons in his palace and setting the structure on fire on December 10, 2020. The traditional ruler, in a petition written on his behalf by his lawyer, Morakinyo Ogele, alleged some 17 individuals of being behind the destruction and killing of the three persons in palace and setting it ablaze.

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