The state Commissioner of Police, Echeng Echeng alongside the Anambra State Police Command has verified the arrest of two individuals in connection with the attack on US Consulate personnel and their police escorts in the state.
Echeng Echeng during a press conference on Thursday, acknowledged the development.
He stated that the suspects were apprehended following a joint security operation involving police tactical units from the command, personnel from the Nigerian Army, and the Nigerian Navy raided a camp near the Ugwuaneocha community in the state’s Ogbaru Local Government Area.
Echeng stated that the camp, which he described as a refuge for assailants thought to be members of the Eastern Security Network and Indigenous People of Biafra, was abandoned when security personnel arrived.
The CP named the police officers as Inspectors Bukar Adams, Friday Morgan, Adam Andrew, and Emmanuel Lupata, noting that five staff members of the US consulate office and four police officers were involved in the attack.
“As you are probably aware, on May 16, 2023, between 12 pm and 2 pm, a team of officials from the Lagos Consulate of the United States of America and their police escorts was ambushed along Atani/Osamela Road, in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State, by suspected Eastern Security Network and Indigenous people of Biafra,” Echeng said.
“Anambra State Police Command received information about the incident around 2.30 pm from a consulate official.” As a result, a joint team of Mobile Policemen and Nigerian Navy forces stationed in Onitsha was quickly deployed to the region.
“When the joint security team arrived at the scene, they spotted and engaged the assailants in a shootout, but they escaped through a nearby forest.” On May 17, 2023, joint security forces comprised of police tactical teams from the Nigerian Army’s command and troops, as well as the Nigerian Navy, raided a camp in the Ugwuaneocha community of Ogbaru LGA, which was suspected to be the assailants’ hideout, but discovered that it had been deserted.”
Echeng stated that two persons of interest had been apprehended and were supporting the police investigation into the attack that killed seven people.
“The criminal camp was razed down by the joint security team,” he continued. Following the incident, the command conducted a preliminary investigation, which revealed that five male officials from the US consulate and four armed Mobile Police escorted from Lagos on a mission to assess the impact of erosion in Ogbaru LGA were traveling in a convoy of two vehicles when they were suddenly attacked by armed men who targeted them with gunfire and set their vehicles ablaze.
“Unfortunately, seven people were killed during the attack, including three consulate officials and four Mobile Police escorts, while two other consulate officials have yet to be found.” According to the USAID authority, “Jefferson Obayuwane (Retd. DSS personnel), Sunday Prince Ubong, Ekene Nweke, Hassan Etila, and Avwuvie Kaye Monday were five of their staff and four policemen involved in the attack.”
The remains had been retrieved and lodged in a morgue, according to the CP, as the police command and other security agencies worked with the government of Anambra State to find and rescue the missing officials.
As a result, he requested members of the public who have knowledge regarding the identities and locations of the perpetrators to please aid the police with such information.
“On behalf of the Anambra State Police Command, I would like to take this opportunity to express my condolences to the families and friends of the deceased, as well as the USA Consul, regarding this tragic incident,” Echeng added.
Christian Aburime, Press Secretary to the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, also responded, saying, “We assure our residents and visitors of our continued commitment to law and order.” “If anything, this incident has fueled our determination,” Echeng remarked.