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Police reveal identity of US embassy officials involved in Anambra brutal attack

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The Police Command in Anambra has made public the names of U.S. Consulate staff and policemen who were gunned down on Tuesday by yet-to-be-apprehended gunmen in Ogbaru, Anambra State. Two were kidnapped by the fleeing suspects.

The  Commissioner of Police in Anambra, Mr Echeng Echeng, who spoke at the command headquarters pointed at the usual suspects, the Eastern Security Network (ESN) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), of behind the brutal attack.

He listed those in the convoy that was attacked as; Jefferson Obayuwane, Sunday Prince Ubong, Ekene Nweke, Hassan Etila, Avwuvie Kaye Monday, Bukar. A. Kabuiki, Emmanuel Lukpata, Friday Morgan, and Adamu Andrew.

Already, Gov. Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra has expressed sadness over the attack, he described as heinous and unprovoked.

In a statement by his spokesman, Mr Christian Aburime, Soludo said his administration had in the last one year worked very hard with gallant security forces to massively degrade criminality and restore law and order and could proudly assert that Anambra was currently one of the safest states in Nigeria.

He said the US embassy convoy incident in a remote Riverine community in Ogbaru local government was a reminder that patches of these criminal gangs could still unleash senseless and murderous acts.

He vowed that the Anambra government would actively work with security agencies to smoke out the criminals and bring them to justice.

“Only two weeks ago, the dreaded and notorious criminal gang leader, operating mostly in a neighboring state, was gunned down with four of his team members when they made incursions into Anambra and recovered huge deadly weapons.

“The criminals are largely on the run or feeling the heat of our zero tolerance to criminality.

“We call on anyone with information on the identity or whereabouts of the criminals to offer the same on our secured security phone numbers or to any of the security agencies and such informants will be handsomely rewarded.

“We assure our residents and visitors of our continued commitment to law and order. This incident has emboldened our drive,” it said.

Soludo said it was evident the visiting team made their own security arrangements and totally bypassed the existing security architecture in the state and the state government was not aware of the “humanitarian mission” of the visiting team.

According to him, in a place like parts of Ogbaru where security forces have been fighting the criminals and oil bunkerers, the sight of few policemen can indeed attract vengeance from the criminal gangs.

“The Government of Anambra once again, expressed its deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims and reassure the United States Embassy in Nigeria of our unwavering commitment to the safety and security of its officials in the state,” it said.

Echeng said the deceased included men from Squadron 23, Police Mobile Force Lagos: Inspectors Bukar Adams, Friday Morgan, Adam Andrew and Emmanuel Lupata.

Two persons, he disclosed, have been arrested in connection with the crime.

According to him, joint security forces comprising,  police tactical teams, Nigerian Army and Nigerian Navy raided a camp in Ogwuanaocha community of Ogbaru, which was suspected to be the hideout of the assailants on Wednesday May 17 but discovered that it had been deserted.

Recall that personnel of Lagos Consulate of the U. S. and their police escorts were ambushed on May 16,  between 12 noon and 2 pm along Atani/Osamala road in Ogbaru after assessment tour of erosion ravaged communities.

“Information about the incident was received by the police command in Anambra , through an official of the consulate, at about 2:30 pm on Tuesday.

“Consequently, a joint team of Mobile Policemen and troops of the Nigerian Navy stationed in Onitsha was immediately deployed to the area.

“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,’’ he said.

Giving more details, he said further preliminary investigation by the command revealed that five male officials of the U.S. consulate and four armed Mobile Police escorted from Lagos were on a mission to assess the impact of erosion in Ogbaru before they were ambushed.

“Regrettably, seven persons including three of the consulate officials and four Mobile Police escorts were murdered during the attack while two other officials of the consulate are yet to be found.

“The deceased police officers include; Bukar Adams, Friday Morgan, Adam Andrew and Emmanuel Lupata,’’ he said.

Echeng said the remains of the deceased persons had  been recovered and deposited in a morgue while the state police command and other security agencies were working round-the-clock with the  Anambra government to rescue the missing officials.

He appealed to the public to  provide information about the identities and locations of the culprits, to assist the police.

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