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Police parade pastor, 15 others for murder of security personnel in S/East

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The Police have announced the arrest of 16 suspects over alleged complicity in the murder of security operatives in the South-East.

In a statement on Sunday, Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Frank Mba, said an operation was conducted with the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Air Force.

The spokesmen noted that the collaboration was to bring to justice, persons responsible for the emerging trend of attacks on security personnel and destruction of operational assets.

Twelve of the suspects were implicated in multiple felonies committed across South-Eastern states.

They were apprehended at different parts of the country after sustained and intelligence-driven sting operations.

Mba said Police investigation established and linked the suspects to several incidents of attacks and murder of security personnel.

The suspects have also been linked to stealing, unlawful possession of firearms, arson and malicious damage to operational assets of the military and law enforcement agents.

“Two of the suspects were among the criminal elements that attacked Policemen on duty at a checkpoint on December 24, 2020, along Orlu-Ihiala Road in Imo,” the statement read.

Mba recalled that two Police officers were killed and a Police Hilux patrol van set ablaze in that incident.

He disclosed that two of the suspects, a Pastor and a Prophet, were arrested for allegedly masterminding the attacks on security personnel and providing spiritual cover for the gang.

One of the suspects’ house was used by the criminals to plan their operations. He had donated his late brother’s farmland for use as a hideout and training camp.

Nine AK47 rifles, five other firearms, 17 AK47 magazines, 549 AK47 live ammunition, 10 improvised explosive devices, camouflage bulletproof vests, walkie-talkies, and others were recovered.