Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Following the killing of a police inspector, inflicting of injuries on other police officers as well as the setting ablaze of police patrol vehicles during the clash between the police and suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Nnewi, the police in Anambra state have paraded 33 suspects said to be responsible for the mayhem.
Among the suspects paraded before journalists at the command headquarters Awka were a 17-year-old lad by the name Nsomchukwu Okafor of Nnewi-North local government area of Anambra state, a preacher of the Anglican church; Vincent Okoroafor, Head chorister of St. Michael’s Catholic church Nnewi and a host of others.
Speaking on the arrest, the force Public Relations Officer Abuja and Ag. Deputy Commissioner of Police Jimoh Moshood said the 33 suspects were arrested for the killing of the police inspector, maiming two other police personnel and the destruction of police vehicles.
He also said that the police inspector-general had ordered an intense recovery search of two missing AK-47 rifles, one barriter pistol and ammunition snatched from the slain police officer and other officers in the course of the pandemonium.
The force Public Relations Officer however stated that the suspects would be arraigned in court while investigations were still on-going to track down other fleeing members of the proscribed IPOB members.
When asked why the police would arrest a 17-year-old boy as an IPOB member even though the constitution of the country stipulated 18 years as age of liability, the force Public Relations Officer stated that criminal liability begins from 14 years and in that instance, the young lad is culpable.
Meanwhile, one of the suspects, Vincent Okoroafor, who is Head chorister St. Michael’s Catholic church Nnewi and Vice Chairman Prince of Peace Line Nnewi said he was packing his goods in the company of his boy when armed security men invaded his shop beating and forcing him and his boy into their patrol van stressing that they were innocent of the crisis.
Also, another suspect who revealed himself as a preacher of the Anglican church, said he was with a customer in his shop preparing an invoice when the police and the Army came shooting sporadically in the air and forced him out of his shop and got him arrested.