Two men on a motorbike, on Thursday, shot at Nnamdi Nsorom, an aide to the Imo West Senatorial Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23 presidential and National Assembly election, Jones Onyereri.
This is just as the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has deployed additional five Commissioners of Police to the state to curtail violence ahead of the governorship election on Saturday.
The newly deployed police commissioners are to join the police commissioner, Dazuki Galadanchi.
Mr Nsorom, who is currently in critical condition at the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, was at the gate to his boss’ house located behind Concord Hotel in the state capital, when the gunmen reportedly sprayed bullets at the gate, which hit him on the chest and arm.
Mr Onyereri was Governor Rochas Okorocha’s major opponent during the senatorial election on February 23, and has vowed to reclaim what he described as his stolen mandate.
But the Police Public Relations Officer in the State, Orlando Ikeonkwu, on Thursday night told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr Nsorom was trailed to the spot by the gunmen.
According to Mr Ikeonkwu, the attackers carted away some money found on Mr Nsorom as soon as he was shot.
He said: “The attack was not on Honourable Onyereri but one of his aides. Information at our disposal indicated that he was being trailed and as soon as he was at the gate, they opened fire on him and carted away some money.
“The commissioner has ordered full investigation into the matter and based on the lead, our men are also on the trail of the gunmen.”
However, Mr Onyereri has denied knowledge of money being stolen at the spot, saying the report was strange to him.
According to him, he was yet to be briefed that money was carted away by the gunmen and that he could not have asked the victim, who was being wheeled to the theatre, whether the attackers took money or not.
Enhanced security measures
The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, in a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES, said apart from the sitting commissioner of police who would operate from the control room, each of the three senatorial districts would be manned by three of the deployed commissioners.
“Two other police commissioners have been deployed in Orlu and Okigwe Local Government Areas making six commissioners in all,” Mr Mba said.
Meanwhile, some elders in the state have thanked the IGP for heeding their call by deploying more of his men to the state.
In a statement issued under the umbrella of Orlu Elders Council and signed by the Chairman, Francis Dike, a professor, and the Public Relations Officer, Ejike Uche, they said they are hopeful that the efforts would “curtail impunity, violence and intimidation by hired thugs and officials in the employment of some failed politicians.”
About 69 governorship candidates will be taking part in the election on Saturday with the candidates of the PDP, Action Alliance (AA), All Progressives Congress (APC), All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and Social Democratic Party (SDP) being the leading contenders.
While Governor Rochas Okorocha’s son in-law, Uche Nwosu represents the AA, former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha is the candidate of the PDP. Hope Uzodinma is the APC’s candidate, and Ifeanyi Ararume and Ikedi Ohakim are the candidates of APGA and SDP respectively.