The Commissioner of Police in Abia, Janet Agbede, has expressed deep pain over the alleged murder of two police operatives at their duty posts during the violence that trailed the #EndSARS protest in Aba.
Agbede made her feelings known in Umuahia on Wednesday, while briefing newsmen on the extent of damage inflicted on the command by the hoodlums that allegedly hijacked the EndSars peaceful protest.
She said that the hoodlums allegedly beheaded one of the deceased and burnt his remains beyond recognition.
“In Abia, the protest initially appeared to be peaceful, and we protected the protesters.
“However, on Tuesday, October 20, things turned violent and hoodlums brutally murdered the two police officers. They also robbed them of their arms,” she said, adding that one of the three rifles stolen by the hoodlums has been recovered by the command.
She said that the hoodlums looted and burnt a building housing a police unit at the Old Zone 6 Annexe, Aba.
The police boss further alleged that the hoodlums attempted to attack police stations and the Correctional Service Centre in Umuahia, with the intention of setting the places ablaze but were repelled by the police and the military”.
She said that the hoodlums burnt five banks, a High Court and Magistrate’s Court buildings, Aba Town Hall and a church inside the premises and Aba Fire Service building.
She also said that the hoodlums burnt 102 government and privately-owned vehicles, dislodged traders in Aba and destroyed some street lights in Aba and Umuahia.
Agbede also said that the hoodlums broke into a warehouse in Umuahia and had begun to cart away fertilisers and rice seedlings preserved with chemicals, when security operatives came and dispersed them.
She paraded 18 suspects arrested in connection with the mayhem, and three others said to have been arrested by the military before the violence. They were handed over to the command.
She said that the command recovered FNC rifle with 12 rounds of ammunition and other weapons of violence.
The police chief said that the suspects will be arraigned at the end of investigations.
She warned hoodlums to return all the loots in their possession or be prepared to face the consequences of their illegal actions.
Meanwhile, Agbede has dispelled the rumour in some quarters that the Fulani residents in Abia were regrouping to unleash attack on the people.
“The rumour is not only false but the handiwork of those intending to cause more tension and confusion in the state,” she said.
She urged the residents to disregard the rumour and go about their lawful businesses, assuring them of adequate protection by the law enforcement agencies.
She further said that the command and other sister security agencies have put necessary security measures in place to ensure a crime-free Yuletide.
“In spite of the shock we suffered due to the violent protest, we are seriously committed to ensure that the people of the state enjoy crime-free Christmas and New Year celebrations,” Agbede said. (NAN)