The Nigerian police are hunting for members of an armed gang who allegedly attacked some officers in Cross River state.
The officers were attacked on April 17 while on a mission to arrest suspected armed robbers and receivers of a stolen vehicle in a community in Ogoja, according to a statement from the spokesperson at the force headquarters, Frank Mba.
Four officers attached to IGP Intelligence Response Team (IRT) unit sustained machete cuts on their heads and other parts of their bodies during the attack, the police said.
“The detectives (the victims of the savage attack) are investigating a case of a stolen Toyota Sienna Bus earlier reported by the Master Chapel Church, a Pentecostal church based in Lagos.
“The detectives had, after a painstaking investigation, arrested four male suspects – Peter, Ben, Ebuka, and Johnson,” Mr Mba, deputy commissioner of police, said in the statement issued on Tuesday.
“The suspects who were positively implicated in the crime by Police investigation confessed to indeed stealing the vehicle. They stated further that they had sold the vehicle to another criminal in Benue State. Hence, detectives moved to Benue State with one of the suspects. On the arrest of the suspect in Benue State, he stated that he had sold the vehicle to another notorious receiver of stolen goods based in Ogoja for a sum of N250, 000.
“With this discovery, the detectives proceeded to Cross River State, where the notorious receiver, Ikenga, was apprehended and the stolen vehicle recovered.
“However, in a bizarre twist, shortly after his arrest, the suspect raised an alarm in his native language which attracted his gang members.
“Subsequently, the policemen came under serious physical attack from weapon-wielding hoodlums. The officers were savagely butchered by these armed gangs. Consequently, Ikenga, the notorious crook escaped with the stolen vehicle,” Mr Mba said.
Mr Mba said the Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, has declared a manhunt for Ikenga and other suspected members of the gang.
The police spokesperson appealed to the public to help the police with useful information that could lead to the arrest of the suspects.