Abia State Police Command has impounded a large quantity of military uniforms, allegedly imported from China and stocked at a warehouse in Aba, the commercial hub of the state.
The State Commissioner of Police, Anthony Ogbizi, made this disclosure at the Umuahia Central Police Station on Tuesday, while briefing journalists on the achievements recorded by the command in the fight against crime and criminality within the last two weeks.
Mr Ogbizi said the owner of the warehouse, one Michael Onuoha, was arrested for alleged conspiracy, aiding and abetting the unlawful procurement, importation and possession of the uniforms, which were mainly camouflage.
He alleged that the Managing Director of Messrs U.U Iruoha, one Uche Iruoha, popularly called Urchman, shipped the uniforms in a container to Apapa Port, Lagos, from where they were transported to Aba in March.
The police commissioner said that Mr Onuoha was arrested on August 16 but that Mr Iruoha was still in China.
Abubakar Ibrahim, a brigadier general and Commander, 14 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Ohafia, who accompanied the police boss at the briefing, said that the army was worried by the development.
Mr Ibrahim said it was disturbing that unscrupulous persons wear military uniforms and camouflage to commit crimes.
He said that the organisation was collaborating with the police and other security agencies to check the phenomenon and ensure that perpetrators were arrested and brought to book.
In a related development, the police also arrested two officials of a new generation bank in Umuahia for alleged conspiracy to defraud a high profile customer of the bank.
The suspects, which included a Marketer, Promise Nwangene, and Customer Service Officer, Kenneth Ebereonu, were alleged to have collected the bank account details of the customer, names withheld, including the Bank Verification Number and Automated Teller Machine, which they posted online.
The police commissioner said “their intention was to begin to steal the N1 million in the account but nemesis caught up with them.”
He alleged that Mr Nwangene “in a bid to pass the information to his accomplice, Kenneth, mistakenly sent it to a WhatsApp group chat, where it was intercepted by a friend of the customer, who alerted the management of the bank.”
Mr Nwangene told journalists that they collected the bank details in order to reactivate the account for the owner and that no fraud was intended.
He said he saved the information to be able to access it for the reactivation of the account but “mistakenly” posted it online.
To further diffuse the allegation of fraud, the two suspects said that no money had been removed from the account since July 1, when the information was posted, to date.
“We would have started removing money from the account or eloped since July 1, if the intention was to commit fraud,” they said.
Also in police net were a 65-year-old iron bender, Mr Chukwuma Orji, and two others, arrested in connection with the alleged kidnap of Dr. Innocent Iwegbu, a medical doctor with the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia.
Mr Ogbizi said that one of the suspects, Ikechukwu Ogbonna, who confessed to the crime, said that Orji, who lived close to the victim, allegedly availed the gang with the information that led to his kidnap.
He said police busted the gang with the assistance of the people of Ohokobe Ndume community, near Umuahia, where the victim was held hostage in a hideout.
The gang had demanded N5 million ransom from the relatives of the doctor before he was rescued on August 16.
The command also arrested four robbery and rape suspects for allegedly terrorising the Ohuhu communities, near Umuahia, with machete and other dangerous weapons.
They were alleged to have broken into the house of one Mrs Osinachi Stephen in the area, where they allegedly gang raped her and dispossed her of her valuables.
Mr Ogbizi also said the command recovered a Toyota Camry, which was snatched from the owner, one Augustine Uchenna, at a gunpoint in Umuahia.
He said two suspects, Kalu Kalu and Ndubuisi George, were arrested in connection with the theft of the vehicle.
He said the police also recovered N385,000 being part of N695,000 allegedly snatched from one Nnamdi Nwosu by robbers, said to be operating in a stolen tricycle (Keke Napep).
The police boss said that Mr Nwosu was on his way to deliver the money from his master to somebody at Umuobasi Village in Umuahia before he was attacked.
He said that the robbers chopped off Mr Nwosu’s finger, when he attempted to resist them.
He said that the command had also recovered the stolen tricycle.
Mr Ogbizi appealed to residents of the state to be vigilant and assist the police with relevant information that could help in crime reduction.
He said the command would not rest on its oars but would sustain the war against violent crimes in the state.
He said the suspects would be arraigned at the end of the ongoing investigation.