Operatives of the Imo Police Command have intercepted a gang of gunmen who disguised as mourners, killing one.
This was announced in a statement issued by Mike Abattam, the command’s spokesperson, on Saturday.
According to the police, the deceased was among other gunmen intercepted by the force at a checkpoint along Owerri/Onitsha road on Wednesday while pretending to be on their way to a burial.
The suspects were travelling in a convoy of three motorcycles and a bus bearing burial posters of one Bridget Chine Nwadiozor.
Things, however, got suspicious when the police officers who stopped the convoy and were conducting a search discovered that the burial date, October 22, had passed.
In an attempt by officers to search the bus, one of the passengers, the police said, tried to shoot at the police officer but was killed.
The statement read: “The suspected gunmen masquerading as persons mourning, going for burial ceremony somewhere in the state, approached the Police check point in a convoy of three motorcycles carrying two passengers on each, alongside a passenger bus with registration number Anambra NNE 725 ZG carrying passengers, and displaying in front of the bus, a belated burial poster of late Mrs. Bridget Chine Nwadiozor dated 22/10/2021.
“They were flagged down for routine search. On seeing the date on the belated poster, the Police operatives became suspicious and alert.
“After searching the passengers on the motorcycles and nothing incriminating was seen, they went to the bus.
“In the bid of searching the passengers in the bus, one of them pulled out a Berretta Pistol and in an attempt to shoot at the police operatives, he was neutralized, which led to a shoot out.
“In the process, one of the suspects, Odedira Ezuala ‘m’ aged 23yrs, a native of Umudike Ihiala LGA of Anambra State, was arrested while others including the motorcyclists escaped with bullet wounds.
“The following items were recovered to the station, which includes: one Police Special Berretta Pistol with breach No.90005 and 10 rounds of live ammunition. one Bus Imo with Reg. No. Anambra NNE 725 ZG and a belated Burial Poster.”
The police said the corpse of the deceased has been deposited in a mortuary, while the arrested suspect is undergoing interrogation.