The Imo state Police Command on Thursday said it had gunned down an alleged serial killer and crime kingpin, one Osita Ogbuiri ‘male’ aka Shina Rambo, a native of Mmahu in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State at a boundary between Abia and Cross River State.
The State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Michael Abattam, disclosed this to newsmen in Owerri.
The Police said Shina Rambo, was serving life imprisonment until he (Shina Rambo) among others escaped from the Owerri jailbreak, April, last year since and then has been on the wanted list of the police for allegedly killing, a town union president, Charles Mgbarahu, ‘male’ of Mmahu Egbema in Ohaji Egbema LGA, Police and Navy officers and six others in the same Ohaji/Egbema axis.
On how Shina Rambo was killed, Police said it was based on technical and credible intelligence of the command’s tactical teams.
He further said: “On the 27/7/2022 at about 0900 hours, the command’s tactical teams after a diligent gathering of both technical and credible intelligence, trailed one Osita Ogbuiri ‘m’ aka Shina Rambo, a native of Mmahu in Ohaji/Egbema LGA of Imo State, to their hideout in Utuma/ Ukwa, a boundary between Abia and Cross River State.
“A notorious criminal, who has been on the wanted list of the Command for his involvement in violent crimes like armed robbery, kidnapping and terrorism. He was among the inmates that escaped from the Imo Correctional Centre Owerri, on the 5th of April, 2021, jailbreak, while serving life imprisonment for the murder of two persons.
“The hoodlums on sighting the police operatives engaged them in a gun duel but were overwhelmed by the superior fire-power and professional dexterity displayed by the gallant police operatives. The escapee serial killer kingpin, Osita Ogbuiri aka Shina Rambo was neutralized in the process while others escaped with bullet wounds. One pump action gun with seventeen (17) expended and four (4) unexpended cartridges were recovered at the scene.
“After escaping from Imo Correctional Centre Owerri, he went into hiding in a neighbouring state, where he formed a terror group, operating in Ohaji Egbema LGA and its environs, terrorizing innocent people in the Community.”
“The suspect, Osita Ogbuiri, is a member of a deadly cult group called “DE-GBAM” and has been involved in several violent attacks/killings of security agents. It is on record that, he led his gang members in the killing of the Town Union President, Charles Mgbarahu ‘m’ of Mmahu Egbema in Ohaji Egbema LGA and six others on the 8th of February, 2022, in a rivalry cult clash. Also on the 9th of July, 2022, he killed a police Inspector in Obokofia and on the 21st of July, 2021 he murdered a Naval officer all in Ohaji Egbema respectively.
“Meanwhile, the corpse of the notorious bandit has been deposited at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Owerri, lmo State; the Community is still agog; while concerted efforts are being made to arrest other members of the gang at large,” Police said.
In another development, armed bandits suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, Thursday went berserk in the South-East as they opened fire on motorists at Lomara in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State.
This is coming four days that bandits also suspected to be herdsmen blocked the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway at Leru/Ihube Okigwe axis, between Abia and Imo border.
All occupants of three vehicles were reportedly abducted by the hoodlums during the Saturday attack while a military van was also allegedly burnt when a team of soldiers stormed the scene following distress call.
A woman was seen in a viral video jubilating around a Jeep car riddled with bullets while a man suspected to be the driver or her husband stood appalled, apparently in shock of their experience and miraculous escape.
Villagers were gathered around the vicinity raining curses on the dare-devil bandits on the prowl in the vicinity.
It is not yet clear if there were any casualties in the Thursday’s attack but part of the windscreen of the black Jeep was shattered and glasses seen on the floor of the vehicle.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, in Abia Geoffrey Ogbonna, said he was not yet aware of the latest attack but promised to make inquiries.
Heavy exchange of gunfire between the bandits and security agencies, was also reported on the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway around Ihube cashew plantation where the Saturday incident occurred.
In an alarm circulating on the social media, a concerned citizen who said his neighbour escaped the mayhem by the whiskers warned travelers to stay off the route to avoid being caught up in the cross fire.
The text of the message reads: Please, motorists and travelers plying Okigwe-Enugu road should beware, there’s a dangerous sporadic shooting allegedly between soldiers and Fulani herders now around Setraco Yard at Ihube. My neighbor who was traveling to Okigwe from Enugu just rushed back home now with bruises sustained from the stampede. Let this go viral for precautions and safety please.”
But when contacted the Zonal PPRO in charge of Zone 9 Police Headquarters, Yisrael Jack Rabin, said the Command was yet to get signals on the said gun duel.
The Abia State Commissioner for Information Eze Chikamnayo who also doubles as the Secretary of the Security Committee on Umunneochi, could not be reached for comments as he did not pick calls put across to him.
The Army Spokesman, 14 Brigade Ohafia, Lt. Innocent Omale, said he would get back to our Correspondent after verifying the alleged shootout.
Umunneochi has become a flashpoint for the activities of criminal herders since after the abduction of the Prelate of Methodist Church, His Eminence Dr Samuel Uche and two other clerics on his entourage who regained their freedom after a ransom of N100 million was paid.
The Prelate had at a press conference after his release, said that his abductors were Fulani herdsmen.
Umunneochi youths have since then renewed their demand for the relocation of the Regional Cattle Market in the area which they allege habours the criminal herders.
Chikamnayo had while reacting to the Saturday attack told our Correspondent that the the local vigilante group had been working assiduously, putting great pressure on the bandits.
He said that they had been chased towards Imo boundary, adding that Abia State Government is not leaving anything to chances.
According to him: “It happened at the expressway between Ihube and Umunneochi. In Umunneochi proper, there has been a mass reduction in the number of such incidents but they have obviously migrated to the border between Umunneochi and Imo State.
“But Umunneochi Security Committee worked very hard. We are putting checkpoints and we have strengthened our vigilante, and have potentially repelled them.
“I think it’s a sign of victory for us that they have left Umunneochi LGA and migrated further towards the express. They are at the boundary between Abia and Imo, precisely at Ihube. It happened at Ihube and not in Umunneochi side of the divide.”
People now live in fear of the unknown in every part of South East. Youths had on Tuesday staged a protest in Aba demanding immediate disbandment of Ebubeagu security network for failing to engage the bandits but zealously using their guns on innocent Igbo youths as was the case in Imo State penultimate Sunday.
▪︎ Reports by Ikenga Online