Operatives of Imo State Police Command have arrested one Lance Corporal Nwangwu Chiwendu, a deserter from Nigerian Army, for allegedly killing several innocent people, including Ahmed Gulak, an All Progressive Congress (APC) chieftain and former political adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The suspect, who was paraded at the Command Headquarters in Owerri, yesterday, also confessed to have led his gang to carry out several attacks on police divisions, offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other facilities in the state.
However, this was not the first time Gulak’s killers would be paraded by the Command.
The state Commissioner (CP), Mohammed Ahmed Barde, who spoke through the Command’s spokesperson, Michael Abattam, said the suspect has been on the Command’s wanted list and was trailed for a long time.
Items recovered from the suspect after the arrest according to the police chief include five pump action guns; two cut to size double barrel guns; four locally made pistols, 50 rounds of live cartridges, nine locally made hand-grenades; the regalia of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) and various charms and rings.
The CP vowed to intensify efforts aimed at ridding the state of all forms of crime and criminality, while assuring citizens of adequate security during and after the yuletide.
He said: “The Imo State Police Command has arrested one of the notorious and vicious IPOB/ESN Commanders, a deserter from the Nigerian Army, Lance Corporal Nwangwu Chiwendu aka “Onyearmy”, ‘m’, 34, a native of Amahohuru Nguru in Aboh Mbaise Local Council of Imo State, who has been on the Command’s wanted list and was being trailed for a long time.
“The suspect, whose modus operandi is guerilla-like operation, that is, he unleashed surprise terror attack and goes into hiding in neighbouring states was arrested on December 23, 2022, at about 1030 hours in his home town, Amahohuru Nguru in Aboh Mbaise Local Council, after diligent gathering of intelligence, during the late father’s funeral.
“The suspect sat on a vantage position while his members were on surveillance, on sighting the police operatives, they took to their heels, engaging operatives in a shoot-out, using the crowd as a shield. The gallant police operatives retaliated professionally and tactically to avoid bullet hitting innocent persons in the crowd.
“He was later arrested after a long chase, alongside two of his gang members with bullet injuries, while others escaped.
“Amazingly, he did not sustain any bullet injury; this he attributed to the charms worn all over his body, he called “Odeshi”, meaning native bullet proof. On searching the house and premises of the suspect, ex -Lance Corporal Nwangwu Chiwendu, some items were recovered and taken to the station.”
“In the course of interrogation, the terror kingpin confessed to have enlisted into the Nigerian Army in 2013, where he trained as an engineer, and became an expert in weapons handling and servicing of all heavy automatic weapons. He rose to the rank of Lance Corporal before he deserted the Army and joined the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its arm affiliate, ESN through one Ebubechukwu, surname unknown and became the operational commander and chief trainer of the outlawed group where he claimed to have trained over one thousand members in weaponry and terror attack in their camp located in Ogbotoukwu, a forest, in Obowu Local Council of Imo State.
“He further confessed to have participated and led in several vicious killings of security personnel, attacks on INEC offices, burning of police stations, murder of innocent people, armed robbery/kidnapping, terrorism and narrated how on May 30, 2021, they murdered the late Ahmed Gulak, the former political adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“He confessed that he led the operation and they double-crossed and stopped the Toyota Camry Taxi car that was taking him and his friend to the airport and ordered them to come down, shot him but the bullet did not penetrate his body. So, he went to him, removed the rings on his right fingers, shot and killed him along airport road.
“Other killings he led include: The recent killing of the Labour Party Senatorial candidate, burning of his house and jeep. He led his gang members including one Okechukwu Duru and others, to kidnap one Jude Nwahiri on November 4, 2021, collected ransom of N21 million, after killing four persons in the residence of the victim at Amahohuru Nguru in Aboh Mbaise council in Imo State, among others.
“Meanwhile, investigation is ongoing and the police operatives are working in synergy with the military and the community to arrest the fleeing members of the terrorist group.
“The commissioner of Police, while commending the gallant officers and men, expressed his appreciation to the residents of the community for their support. He then advised them to continue to assist the police with credible information and report to the nearest police station any person seen with bullet wounds.”