Killing of Traditional Rulers: Police team said they were summoned by their commander before leaving – Council Boss


Emeka Iheanacho, the Interim Management Committee Chairman Njaba Local Government Area of Imo State the police team detailed to provide security for the meeting of Traditional Rulers left on the summon of their commander before gunmen opened fire at the meeting, killing some of the Traditional Rulers.

He said that the incident of October 19th at the council headquarters, Nnenasa occurred during his monthly meeting with Njaba LGA council of traditional rulers.

According to him, “in order to ensure security of lives and property during the meeting, I called one ASP Nwankwo, who leads the Njaba LGA Police Operation Search and Flush Team on 18 October 2021 and requested the presence of his tea at the council headquarters the next day for the above programme.

“He agreed to come with his team. The police also came to the council headquarters on 19th October 2021 with his team as agreed.

“But shortly before the commencement of the programme, the leader of the police team, ASP Nwankwo came to my office and informed me that their commander instructed them to return to Owerri. I refused to allow them to go in order to avoid jeopardizing the security of lives and properties in the environment, but they insisted to go.

“They finally left and told me that they would be back before the next two hours. The HOD Works of the Council, Mr. Emeka Uneanya, and a vigilante security officer of the council, Mr. Ernest Okorochukwu were witnesses to the argument between me and the police team leader in my office.

“Our meetings and programme however commenced as we hoped on the return of the police team as they promised. But three hours after the commencement of the meeting, we did not see them. I then called the team leader to know why they have not come back, but he told me that their commander had not yet released them.

“Our usual monthly meeting with the traditional rulers which happened to be the last programme for the day was about to be concluded when we saw some armed men approaching the council hall where the meeting was taking place.

“The unknown gunmen on reaching the door to the hall, opened fire and shot at some of us as we were scampering for safety. Unfortunately, we lost two traditional rulers, Eze Anayo Durueburuo of Okwudor Autonomous Community and Eze Samson Osunwa of Ihebinowere autonomous community who died on the spot.

“Three traditional rulers also sustained gunshot injuries. They are: HRH A. N Onyeka of Nkume Autonomous Community, HRH P. C Ukonu of Ugbele Aka Autonomous Community and HRH Uche Nwaka of Umunnam Autonomous Community. The incident took place by some minutes to 3 pm.

“Your Excellency, while we appreciate your efforts to ensuring the security of lives and properties of Njaba LGA, I wish to appeal that the DSS Operation Search and Flush Team, and NSCDC Operation Search and Flush Team posted to Njaba LGA be urged to report and commence work in the LGA with immediate effect to beef up security in the area”.