By Joy Mbachi
Anambra Police Command has revealed that nine persons lost their lives in an ambush attack on the US convoy in the state on May 16.
The command’s disclosure is contained in a press statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) through DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, Anambra Police Command spokes man, in Awka on Thursday.
Ikegna said the information about the incident was received by Anambra State Police Command, through an official of the US consulate.
The command disclosed that through its preliminary investigation, it gathered that the officials of the USA consulate were on a mission to assess the impact of erosion in Ogbaru Local Government Area (LGA).
The statement said the attack took place along Atani/Osamela road in Ogbaru LGA by suspected members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN)/Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB).
However, the command disclosed that upon arrival at the scene of the incident, the joint security team sighted and engaged the assailants in a shoot-out but they escaped through a nearby forest.
Ikenga said the Command continued their search jointly with security forces comprising police tactical teams from the command and troops of the Nigerian Army as well as the Nigerian Navy.
The PPRO said they raided a camp in Ugwuaneocha community of Ogbaru LGA, which was suspected to be the hideout of the assailants, but discovered that it had been deserted.
However, he disclosed that two persons of interest have been arrested and they are currently assisting the police in their investigation.
The statement also revealed that the criminal camp has been razed down by the joint security team.
The Command listed the following persons as the fallen heroes of the US consulate, Jefferson Obayuwane (RTD DSS personnel), Sunday Prince Ubong, Ekene Nweke, Hassan Etila, Avwuvie Kaye, Monday, Bukar . A. Kabuiki – (Police), Emmanuel Lukpata – (Police), Friday Morgan -(Police), and Adamu Andrew – (Police).
The PPRO said that the remains of the deceased persons have all been recovered and deposited in a morgue.
He said that the state police command and other security agencies are working round-the-clock, in concert with the Government of Anambra State, to find and rescue the missing officials.
Ikenga urged members of the public to support its effort to get the identities and locations of the culprits, through provision of quality information.
The Commissioner condoles with the families and friends of the deceased persons.
He extended his condolence to the USA Consulate over the tragic incident and assured that efforts would be deployed to track down the perpetrators of the heinous crimes and bring them to justice.