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Gunmen Invade Imo Community, Abduct 15 Youths

At least 15 youths of Ekwe community in Isu Local Government Area of Imo State, have reportedly been abducted by gunmen who invaded the Community on Saturday.

A source who disclosed the incident to newsmen, said the gunmen stormed the community through the Njaba River, a boundary berween Ekwe Community and Amucha in Njaba council area of the state.

According to the source, the youths were said to be excavating sand at the Njaba River when the gunmen swooped on them and took them away after shooting sporadically in the air and searching for other youths in the vicinity.

“This morning, some masked gunmen invaded our community, Ekwe through Amucha, arrested some young men who were excavating sand at Njaba River.“After that, they went into the community shooting sporadically leading to people running helter-skelter.

“Some ran into the surrounding bushes to escape arrest. The gunmen were arresting only male young men. They ignored girls and women as well as elderly men.

“Later, they stormed the palace of our traditional ruler, Eze Nicholas Ibekwe, commanded all to lie down and released about 20 gunshots into the air. They didn’t kill anybody but we are hearing that some might have sustained gunshot injuries”, the source said.

The traditional ruler of the community, Eze Nicholas Ibekwe, who confirmed the incident, said four of the gunmen stormed his palace and ordered everybody in his palace to lie down.

The monarch said he got wind of the information that gunmen were in custody of 15 of his subjects who were excavating sand at Njaba River  before they stormed his palace.

Ibekwe disclosed that one of the youths alerted the community after his release. He said he was released because of his visual impairment.

He said  four of the assailants who stormed the palace were unmasked and dressed in camouflage. 

Eze Ibekwe further disclosed that one of the gunmen spoke Hausa Language when he ordered those in his palace to lie down.

Ibekwe disclosed that one of the gunmen even accused him of harbouring criminals in the community.

When reached for comment, the police spokesperson for the Command, Michael Abattam, advised the community to lodge a formal report to the police division in the area.

In another incident,  heavily armed men on Saturday, reportedly invaded Boss FM radio station in Owerri, at about 11:30 am and abducted  a co-host to a programme, Prof. Jachimike Adiele.

A source from the radio station, said the victim was abducted after his programme, where he discussed “Igbo presidency”  adding that  the gunmen  lay siege at the premises of the station and took him away to an unknown destination immediately he finished the programme.

Although, the victim has since been released few hours after the incident.  It  was not clear if any ransom was paid for his release.

Manuels Effe


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