After one year of intensive investigation, the Imo State Police Command has arrested the mastermind of the Zenith Bank robbery in Owerri, Imo State last year.
Imo State Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike said the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS, on 21st December, 2017 trailed and arrested the remaining member of the gang, one Mr. Chinomso Onwuegbuchulam aka Ogolo, aged 29 years, and a native of Obazu Mbieri in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State.
According to him, in the process of trailing and arresting him two police officers lost their lives.
Speaking to newsmen at the State Police headquarters in Owerri, Ezike said “ every day for the thief, one day is for the police”
He said the kingpin who claims to hold a B.Sc. Hons Degree in Government and Public Administration from the Imo State University in 2008 was arrested in one of his hideout at Close 7, Mgbuakara Eleparawan, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The Police boss said he confessed that of the N2.8 million naria that was stolen, the kingpin got a share of N400,000.
Going down memory lane, Ezike recalled that a four man gang on 22nd February, 2018 trailed a bank customer to the Wetherdral branch of Zenith Bank, Owerri and unleashed attack within the bank premises. He also recalled how the hoodlums shot sporadically and exchanged gun battle with the three police personnel posted to the Bank from Mopol 18, Owerri.
He said the one of the policemen on duty during the gunfire with the bandits later known and identified as Mr.Ikechukwu Opara, Male was shot by Sgt. Chukwudi Iboko (F/No.390643).
The Commissioner stated that Sgt Iboko and Sgt Sunday Agbo were later rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri after sustaining injuries in the battle.
Sgt Iboko, according to him, later died while receiving treatment. He said the third officer, Sgt Out Attang later survived.
The Commissioner however expressed delight to be receiving the Sun Post Humous Nigeria Hero for the year 2017 during the weekend by the Sun Publishing Limited publishers courtesy of Sgt.Iboko’s family on behalf of the Inspector General of Police, IGP,Ibrahim K.Idris.
PRESS UPDATE BY CP CHRIS O. EZIKE, COMMISSIONER OF POLICE IMO STATE COMMAND ON THE ARMED ROBBERY INCIDENT AT ZENITH BANK PLC WETHERAL ROAD BRANCH OWERRI ON 22nd of FEBRUARY, 2017
Gentlemen of the Press,
I addressed you on the 13th of June, 2017 on the above subject matter where I stated that on the 22nd of February, 2017 at about 1510hrs, a four man gang of armed robbers trailed a bank customer to the Wetheral Road branch of Zenith Bank PlcOwerri Imo State and unleashed attack within the bank premises. The hoodlums shot sporadically and exchanged gunfire with the three police personnel posted on duty at the bank from 18PMF Squadron Owerri.
2. In the ensuing gunfire, one of the armed bandits later known and identified as IkechukwuOkpara ‘m’ was shot dead by F/No. 375253 SgtChukwudiIboko. The three police personnel sustained various degrees of injuries and were rushed to the Federal Medical Centre Owerri and the Nigeria Police Hospital Owerri for treatment in a coordinated medical emergency midwifed by the Command Medical Officer SP (Dr.) Bose Salami.
3. Unfortunately, F/No. 375253 SgtChukwudiIboko and F/No. 390643 Sgt Sunday Agbo died on 23rdof February, 2017 from gunshot injuries received during the armed robbery encounter while receiving treatment at the hospital. The third police personnel F/No. 426788 SgtOtuAttang survived by the Grace of the Almighty God and the diligence and professionalism of the Medical team managing him made up of Dr. Chukwumam Dennis – Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Mba – General Surgeon, Dr. AmakobiAristole – Opthalmologistand Dr. Kalu – Anaesthetist. We are grateful to this compassionate Medical team.
4. In the course of investigation, three of the armed robbery suspects were arrested namely:
i. Justice Ogbonna ‘m’ aged 36yrs aka “JJ”
ii. Abiye Charles ‘m’
iii. OkechukwuNwanegbo ‘m’ aka “MODESTUS”
The following exhibits were also recovered
AK47 Rifle Breech No. 7179 with one hundred (100) rounds of live ammunition
AK47 Rifle Breech No. 180-03-06723 with one round of live ammunition
AK49 Rifle Breech No. 56-25012906 with one hundred and seventy-five (175) rounds of live ammunition
4 Nos Vehicles Viz
Toyota Avalon car with Reg. No. Lagos AL 250 ER
Toyota Camry Green Colour with Reg. No. Rivers BRR 994 RM
Toyota Camry Black Colour with Reg. No. Lagos APP 195 AU
Toyota Corolla Blue Colour with Reg. No. Rivers BRR 887 RM
5.I am delighted to announce to you that the remaining member of the gang one Chinonso Gift Onwuegbuchulam aka “OGOLO” male, 29years of age, hails from ObazuMbieri in Mbaitoli LGA of Imo State was arrested on 21st of February, 2018.The suspect who claimed to hold a B.ScHons. Degree in Government & Public Administration from Imo state University in 2008 was arrested in his hide out at Close 7, MgbuakaraEleparawan, Port Harcourt- Rivers State. He has confessed to the crime and further admitted that out of the #2.8million naira they stole, he got a share of #400,000.00 (Four hundred thousand naira only). He further confessed to have been in armed robbery business since 2012 and has participated in several robbery operations at Lagos, Port Harcourt and Owerri between 2012 and 2017. He is helping investigation as we speak.
6.I wish to also inform you that the Sun Publishing Limited publishers of the Sun Newspaper has named SgtChukwudiIboko as the Sun Post Humous Nigerian Hero for 2017. I shall be receiving the award on behalf of the Inspector-General of Police and the Deceased family in Lagos tomorrow.
7.The arrest of this suspect signals the closure of this criminal gang and their nefarious activities.
8. The Command has also made giant strides in the arrest of other criminal gangs and recovery of high profile exhibits, details of which shall be made available to the media next week.
9.Thank you for your sustained partnership.