By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—The alleged leader of a 15-member gang of the notorious Neo Black Movement, also known as Black Axe, said to be terrorizing Egbu in Owerri North local government area of Imo State, has been gunned down by the police.
According to a press statement signed by the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Andrew Enwerem, the gang leader, Chimaobi Iheme, popularly known as Saka, was killed last Sunday during a gun battle with the police, while two of his gang members were arrested.
“The operation was sequel to an information received that cult members, numbering about 15, were terrorizing Egbu community, near Egbu Girls’ Secondary School,” the PPRO said.
He said operatives of the command immediately swung into action but met a stiff opposition from the group, as they were armed.
“The cultists engaged the police operatives in an exchange of gun fire. Two of the cult members received gunshot wounds and were arrested.
‘’Others escaped, while their leader gave up the ghost while receiving medical treatment,” the PPRO stated.
Mr. Enwerem gave the names of the two arrested cultists as 25-year-old Opara Chinwekene and 24-year-old Amarikwa Tochukwu Franklyn, both of Mpama, Egbu.
Vanguard gathered that the items recovered from the cultists included three locally made pistols, seven live cartridges, four expended cartridges, two cutlasses, one small axe, six cell phones, one tricycle and one motorcycle.
While appealing to parents and guardians to closely monitor their children and wards, the PPRO also called on members of the public to promptly report any unusual event happening around them to the nearest police station for necessary action.