POLICE detectives have arrested seven persons including two soldiers – one serving, one dismissed – for the killing of four police men in the failed attempt to rob a bullion van in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
The suspects were nabbed in Asaba, the Delta State capital following the incident when a bullion van coming from Enugu State was attacked on July 29, 2020.
The National Statesman recalled that, the Ebonyi State Commissioner of Police, Philip Maku confirmed that the robbers trailed the van from Enugu, and were unable to loot the van after killing the escort.
He had said: “They damaged one of the tires of the bullion van but the driver was able to escape with the van. They could not chase the van as the driver was driving towards the military checkpoint.”
He said the Police has launched a massive manhunt for the robbers.
On Monday, the Police Situation Report (SITREP) stated that, “IRT Detectives with technical Intelligence Support from TIU arrested one Alfred Robinson, 45, a native of Gelegele Town in Ovia North Local Government Area of Edo State in Asaba, Delta State.”
It added that: “During intensive follow up, six more gang members were arrested by IRT detectives within 24 hours.”
The SITREP listed them as Sgt Ayeni Samuel, a Nigerian soldier serving in Ikeja, Lagos; Cpl Emeka Harrison, a dismissed Soldier who had served in Borno State; Emeka Illo, sponsor of the operation; Abuchi Elijah, aka ‘Chime D Mosquito’, the informant for the robbers; and Ibanifiroi Ekiene, a native of Tombia community.
A number of firearms were recovered from the criminals.
These are 12 improvised explosives that did not detonate, one GPMG, six rifles, 51 AK-47 magazines, 1,620 ammunition, 2 stolen vehicles, breaking implements and charms.
The Police said all suspects, upon interrogation, confessed to the bullion van incident.
They confessed that four out of the rifles recovered belong to the policemen killed during the operation.
The suspects are assisting police to arrest the remaining gang members.