Some unknown gunmen on Monday launched attack on the palace of Emmanuel Okeke, Imo state chairman of the council of traditional rulers.
Okeke is the traditional ruler of Amaifeke autonomous community in Orlu LGA and the chairman of traditional rulers in the 27 LGAs in Imo state.
The development comes months after a similar attack on the palace.
In January 2022, an attempt to set the palace ablaze was foiled by security operatives, in collaboration with local vigilante members in the area.
Michael Abattam, Imo police spokesperson who confirmed the incident said said the gunmen were sighted in three Hilux vehicles shooting sporadically and going towards the monarch’s residence.
“On receipt of the information, the Command’s Tactical Team joined by the military immediately mobilised and rushed to the palace,” the statement reads.
“On their way, the hoodlums on sighting the combined team engaged them in a gun duel, throwing petrol bombs. The gallant team responded, positioning themselves professionally.
“In the exchange of gun fire that ensued, the hoodlums were overwhelmed due to the superior fire-power of the combined team and in the process, six of the hoodlums were neutralised, while others escaped with various degrees of gunshot injuries.”
The police also said items recovered included “one pump action gun, three blood-stained cutlasses and three Hilux vehicles suspected to have been snatched from innocent citizens”.
Abattam said calm has been restored in the area, adding that aside from one of the police vehicles that got burnt due to the fire from a petrol bomb, no security operative was killed.
The Imo police command also said efforts are ongoing to arrest other members of the gang, while security in Orlu and its environs have been beefed up to forestall any further attack in the area.
While commending officers for their gallantry, Mohammed Ahmed, Imo commissioner of police, urged them not to relent in their efforts until all criminal elements and their cohorts are made to face the full wrath of the law.
He also thanked Imo people for their constant support and advised them to always assist the police and other security agencies in the state with credible and timely information.
Ahmed also urged Imo residents to go about their lawful businesses “without fear of any molestation as security agencies are working assiduously in synergy to ensure the safety of lives and properties in the state”.