There was wild jubilation at the Imo state police command yesterday as police officers celebrated the death of a 27-year-old notorious armed robber, Ihechi Nwankwo, who had been terrorizing the state for a very long time.
According to the state police public relations officer, Andrew Enwerem, the suspect who hails from Amaumara in the Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area of the state, had been on their wanted list for a long time. He was accused of masterminding a lot of armed robbery attacks in the state.
In an interview with Southern City News, Enwerem said the slain suspect was involved in robbing a bank customer of N8m at Access Bank at Ahiara Junction on August 8th. He also robbed one Jovita Enwerem of N650,000 at gunpoint at Ahiara Junction on June 21st. In May, Ihechi also attacked and disposed a Chinese expatriate of N10 million in Owerri and killed the expatriate’s security officer. On how Ihechi was killed, Enwerem said
“On September 28, the state police command control room was alerted to a robbery attack along Wetheral Road, Owerri. A customer of the Wetheral Road branch of Zenith Bank had gone to the bank to withdraw N50m. On their way, along Wetheral Road, they were confronted by a daredevil armed robbery gang operating with a grey colour Toyota Corolla with number plate ABJ 951AA that blocked the convoy and immediately opened fire on the police escorts.”
“The criminals escaped from the robbery scene but their vehicle was riddled with bullets. We, however, contacted police in the neighboring states to be on the lookout. Subsequently, the criminals were intercepted in Umuahia, Abia State, where they engaged the operatives in a gun duel. One of the gang members was gunned down while the others escaped with bullet injuries and the ash colored Toyota Corolla car was also recovered.”
Enwerem said three policemen, however, sustained gunshot injuries and were already being treated in the hospital.
The force spokesperson added that the elder brother of the slain robber, 42-year old Chibuike Nwankwo and one Chukwudi Obinwanne, a native of Ugiri in Isiala Mbano LGA of the state, are currently in police custody for carrying out bank robbery