Three police officers were, on Friday, killed when gunmen ambushed the advance security team of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.
The incident occurred at about 1:30 p.m.
Mr Okowa is also the vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the gunmen attacked the security team – made up of four police officers – in Ihiala, a community in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, south-east Nigeria.
The hoodlums were said to have freed one of the officers who was not in a police uniform during the attack.
Sources said the officers were en route to Abia State, where Mr Okowa was reportedly billed to travel to, for a meeting with some PDP members in the state ahead of the 25 February presidential election.
It was not clear for now if Mr Okowa was travelling with the officers during the attack.
The slain officers were identified as Celestine Nwadiokwu, Jude Obuh and Lucky Aleh, an inspector- all indigenes of Delta State, Nigeria’s south-south.
When contacted on Saturday morning, the police spokesperson in Anambra State, Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the incident to PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr Ikenga, a deputy superintendent of police, said the victims were officers attached to the Explosives Ordinance Department of the Delta State Police Command and were on an official assignment for the state government.
“The officers came under attack and their vehicle was set ablaze by some yet-to-be-identified armed men,” he said.
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The police spokesperson said the police in Anambra State have recovered the bodies of the three slain officers following receipt information about the attack.
“Efforts are currently ongoing in tracking down the armed men that committed this act,” Mr Ikenga stated.
The attack comes barely 24 hours after Abiye Sekibo, the director-general of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council in Rivers State, escaped an attack by gunmen in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
Like other states in Nigeria’s south-east, security has deteriorated in Anambra State with frequent attacks by armed persons.
The attacks often target security agencies, government officials and facilities.
The Nigerian government has accused the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) of being responsible for the deadly attacks in the region. But the group has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attacks.
IPOB is a group leading agitation for an independent state of Biafra which it wants carved out from the South-east and some parts of the South-south Nigeria.
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