The Imo State Police Command on Sunday evening claimed that 10 IPB/ESN members that carried out the murder of All Progressives Congress(APC) chieftain, Ahmed Gulak have been “neutralized” in a gun battle with the police officers, in what appears to be the swiftest response of the Nigerian Police to murder cases in Nigeria.
Despite the denial by IPOB high command, the police also insisted that those arrested though severely wounded in gun battle are members of the proscribed group.
In a press statement signed by Police Public Relations Officer, SP Bala Elkanah, the police claimed to have recovered three AK47 rifles, one pistol, and five AK47 magazines with 92 rounds of live ammunition. The statement also stated that I recovered three out of the four vehicles used for the operation.
The late Gulak was killed while on his way to Sam Mbakwe International Airport, Owerri to catch his flight to Abuja when he was waylaid by armed men and killed. IPOB denied having a hand in the murder but police claimed that those neutralized were IPOB members.
Below is the statement released by the police:
On 30th May, 2021 following a distress received by the Command on the gruesome murder of Ahmed Gulak, Police Special Forces made up of Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Police Mobile Force (PMF) and Tactical Units from the command were deployed to the scene at Obiangwu Junction at Ngorokpala LGA of Imo state. The teams were given a clear instruction to identify and apprehend the perpetrators of the act with a view of bringing them to justice.
- Eye witnesses account, especially the account given by the Driver of the vehicle that was conveying Ahmed Gulak to the Airport before the attack, gave a vivid description of the assailants and the vehicles they used in carrying out the attack. The assailants were said to have used a Toyota Camry 2005 model with silver color; Toyota Sienna 1998 Model with golden color; Toyota Hilux with white color; and a Lexus RX 330 with golden Color. (Registration numbers are withheld for security reasons).
- Having established the identity of the assailants and the description of the vehicles used in carrying out the attack, the teams further got details of the direction the hoodlums have taken. With further leads, the team was able to establish the location of suspects. The suspects were rounded up at Afor Enyiogugu junction in Aboh-Mbaise Local Government Area. The hoodlums where met distributing onions to locals from a trailer they confiscated. The trailer was loaded with Onions from the Northern region of Nigeria.
- On sighting the Police, the hoodlums providing security coverage to those sharing the onions opened fire on the Police teams. The Gallant and battle ready Police Officers swiftly returned the fire. The six hoodlums who carried out the killings and four other members of their gang were fatally injured. Three out of the four vehicles used in attacking Gulak were recovered.
- Three AK 47 Rifles, one Pistol, five AK 47 magazines with ninety two rounds of live ammunition and criminal charms were recovered. The assailants were identified as members of the proscribed IPOB and ESN. The driver who drove late Ahmed Gulak and a co- victim who survived have all identified the dead body of the IPOB/ESM members positively as their attackers and also identified the three vehicles recovered as those used by the attackers. During the encounter, two of the police armored personnel carriers (APC) were riddled with bullets but survived the gun battle.
- The Commissioner of Police Imo State, CP Abutu Yaro, fdc commended the gallant effort of the team and admonished them to continue to protect the public space.
SP Bala Elkana, ANIPR,
Police Public Relations Officer,
For Commissioner of Police,