By Abah Joshua ,Abakaliki
Police in Ebonyi State have arrested two manufacturers of locally made rifles and 32 others for various offences in the State.
The two suspects specialize in manufacturing, fabricating and sales of locally made firearms such as AK-47, AK-49 and pistols of different kinds.
The police also recovered 24 riffles with over 1000 ammunition and rescued 4 abducted victims.
The manufacturers of locally made rifles, identified as Udoka Chukwu and Obaji Benjamin, according to the Police, confessed to have inherited the talent from their late fathers, who were goldsmith and blacksmith, respectively.
Mr Obaji Benjamin, who is an ex-Nigeria Air force personnel, claimed to have retired from the force to enable him take care of his aged and ailing parents, but Police said he was a deserter from the Force, from its investigation.
The Commissioner of Police, Ebonyi State, CP Aliyu Garba, while parading the suspect on Wednesday evening, explauned that the men of Safer Highway Patrol on stop and search duty at Nkalagu/Enugu boundary, intercepted Benjamin Obaji and two men on a motorcycle on 9th August, 2021.
“On searching the suspects, the following arms and ammunition were recovered from the bag in possession of the 1st suspect: One (1) locally made AK-47, Five (5) AK-47 live ammunition and Six (6) expended shells of berretta pistol,” CP Garba added.
The Police Commissioner further disclosed that Udoka Chukwu and two others were arrested on the 24th August, 2021, by operatives of the Command attached to Ohafia Agba in Ishielu Local Government Area of the State.
He said upon a search of Udoka Chukwu’s house and premises, the following items were recovered: One (1) AK-47 rifle, Two (2) Pump actions, One (1) Makarov English pistol, Three (3) empty original magazines, Five (5) locally made pistol, Eighty (80) rounds of AK-47 live ammunition, One (1) Fabricated AK-47 rifle, Two (2) single barrel English gun, Two (2) fabricated berretta pistol, Two (2) Den guns, Two (2) welding standard machines, Three (3) welding locally/fabricated machines, Two (2) generators, Two (2) gas cylinders and Seven (7) pipes.
He said the suspects would be arraigned.
The Police also paraded four suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra and Eastern Security Network, who allegedly blocked Ohoazra/Onicha expressway by Anike Village in Onicha LGA on 9th August, 2021, and gruesomely murdered 7 innocent persons and set their vehicles ablaze in forceful enforcement of sit-at-home order by the group.
“On receipt of the information about the unfortunate incident, Operatives of the Command immediately swung into action and engaged the hoodlums on gun battle, during the gun duel two (2) of them were fatally wounded while others escaped with bullet wounds.
“The four (4) amongst the fleeing suspects were later trailed, arrested and now in our custody. They confessed to being members of the IPOB/ESN who participated in the killing of the said seven (7) persons and burning of their Four (4) vehicles including a Truck on the above stated date.
The following exhibits were recovered; One (1) General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), Ten (10) rounds of chain bullets, Five (5) motorcycles
“However, frantic effort is ongoing for possible arrest of the other fleeing hoodlums. Meanwhile, suspects who are in our detention facility would be arraigned in court,” CP Garba added.