By Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
Three persons were killed on Wednesday night when gunmen suspected to be assassins invaded Umuawulu Community in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State. The incident happened five years after a prominent son of the community, Chief Chukwudi Okafor (Amuruonyenego) was assassinated by gunmen in front of Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church in the community.
One of the victims of Wednesday’s attack, Rueben Ikwuka, said to be a visitor to the target of the assassins, Chief Azubuike Ekweozor, who escaped the assassins’ bullet, was mistaken by the hoodlums for their target and was shot dead.
Two others, who were killed in the incident, were said to be members of the gang, who stormed the community with a black Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) and were felled by policemen attached to Chief Ekweozor.
The police recovered from the two dead suspects, two AK-47 rifles with 19 and 11 live ammunition respectively and extra 30 live ammunition.
Confirming the incident yesterday, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the state command, Mr. Uche Ezeh, said the command had commenced investigations into the incident, adding that police also recovered from one of the suspects an Identification card belonging to Enugu State Transport Company.
Ezeh, who assured that the command would not relent until the perpetrators of the heinous crime were found, said: “What happened was that Chief Azubuike Ekweozor had a visitor in his house that night called Rueben Ikwuka and another person, but the man’s driver was coming back to the house with another vehicle following the man’s vehicle inside the compound.
“Three persons alighted from the vehicle, a black Jeep which was behind and because the suspected assassins did not know their target, the victim ran out and in the process, they fired and killed him.
“But the two policemen attached to the target quickly returned fire and gunned two of them down, while the third person ran away with bullet wounds as well as gunshots impact on the side of the vehicle before they drove off.”
“One good thing is that an Identification Card (ID) was recovered from one of them that could lead the way in the investigation; and also the recovered rifle.”
Tension and apprehension now pervades the community following the incident, though security operatives had taken over the entire town.
A community leader from the town and civil rights crusader, Osita Obi confirmed that his people had been in pensive mood since the attack and urged the government to join hands with security operatives to unravel those behind the incident.
It was also gathered that the handsets of the two suspects that were killed were recovered with many calls coming into them since then since that Wednesday night.
By Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka