Awka – The Police in Anambra State on Monday, said its operation repelling the unknown gunmen that attacked the INEC headquarters and ‘B’ Division, Awka, last night, was 95 percent successful.
The State Commissioner of Police, Chris Owolabi who disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Awka, revealed that there was no casualty on the side of the Police.
He said at about 8pm last night, as part of a decoy, the ‘B’ Division came under attack from the gunmen but Police operatives defended themselves very well but they threw an IED bomb which exploded inside the charge room, setting it on fire.
CP Owolabi revealed that the gunmen went ahead to attack the INEC headquarters close to the Police division, where Police operatives engaged them, demobilizing the three Hilux trucks they came with and recovering 6 pump action rifles, one G2 rifle, one AK-47 rifle and other ammunitions.
“At about 8:15pm on Sunday, I got a call that the ‘B’ Division was under attack by armed hoodlums and there were sporadic gunshots. My men at the B Division defended their position very well. However, the gunmen threw an IED bomb at our facility which exploded inside the charge room, setting it on fire. We later discovered that the attack was a decoy to attack the INEC headquarters.
“Our men later proceeded to INEC where they engaged the gunmen in a gun battle and were able to demobilize the three Hilux trucks which they came with. The gunmen scampered for safety and the Police recovered 6 pump action rifles, one G2 rifle and one AK-47 rifle,” he revealed.
The Anambra Police Chief noted that details are sketchy now on the number of casualties because investigations are still ongoing as developments are changing, saying they are presently searching health facilities for any wounded persons.
“There was no casualty on the part of the police. It was a 95% successful operation aside the burnt facility and vehicles,” Owolabi said.
He pleaded with residents of the state to endeavor to keep security agencies abreast of any security developments in their areas, saying they are collaborating with all security agencies on the operation.
“I want to assure lawful citizens to go about their normal businesses as the state is safe. We have been combing everywhere in the city and all remote places. Plain-clothes policemen and undercover have also been deployed everywhere. Very soon, we will pick up these hoodlums because we are sure of the action we carried out,” he said.
Unconfirmed reports have it that four out the marauding gunmen were killed in the operation, although the CP did not confirm the figures.
Meanwhile, parts of the INEC headquarters, Awka, attacked by gunmen last night were still on fire as at this morning when TNC correspondent visited the place.
Among the places razed down completely were the collation office, part of the storehouse and the entrance to the main building.
Also, about seven operational vehicles of the office were also destroyed in the fire.
Our correspondent also saw heavy blood stains all over the compound as well as the three Hilux vans which the gunmen allegedly came with, riddled with bullets.
Speaking to our correspondent, the Anambra INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Nkwachukwu Orji however noted that it was not a major damage, as the police were able to do their job effectively, noting that the places affected are places that can be easily recovered.
On whether the development will affect the upcoming Governorship election in the state, Dr Orji said the headquarters will decide that.