Usman Baba
IGP, Usman Baba

The Imo State Police Command has said the traditional rulers who were murdered by unknown gunmen on Tuesday did get clearance from it or any other security agency before holding a meeting where they were attacked.

Recall that three traditional rulers were gunned down in Imo State on Tuesday evening by unidentified gunmen while they were having a stakeholders’ meeting at the Njaba local council headquarters at Nnenasa.

Imo State Police command which confirmed the attack in a statement signed by its spokesman, CSP Mike Abattam, explained that at about 3pm it got a tipoff that hoodlums “suspected to be members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra/ESN” are attacking the venue where the Transitional Chairman of Njaba LGA was holding a meeting with some Transitional Rulers.

Abattam said that the state Commissioner of Police immediately dispatched the command’s tactical teams to the scene and on their arrival at the scene, they were informed by the police patrol teams patrolling the area that the hoodlums fled into the bush.

“At the scene, it was revealed that the Transitional Chairman of Njaba LGA Mr Emeka Ihenacho invited and was having meeting with 15 traditional rulers of Njaba communities without informing the police or other security agencies.

“Unfortunately, two of the traditional rulers namely, HRH Eze S.C Osunwa of Ihebinowere Autonomous Community and HRH Eze Barr A. E Durueburuo of Okwudor Autonomous Community lost their lives in the attack while HRH Eze A. N Onyeka ( JP ) of Nkume Autonomous Community sustained gunshot injuries,” Abattam said.

“The police station in the community was recently attacked and razed down by hoodlums and that during the attack, two police officers lost their lives. The command had to post policemen to the area on vehicular patrols to help in checkmating crimes and criminalities until when a new police station will be rebuilt.

“The command is exploring all avenues possible to see that the fleeing bandits are arrested and prosecuted,” he added