The names of the nine U.S. Consulate personnel from Lagos, who were involved in Tuesday’s brutal attack that claimed seven lives in the Ogbaru area of Anambra State, have been released by the State Police command.
Echeng Echeng, the Commissioner of Police in Anambra made the disclosure at a news conference at the command’s headquarters in Amawbia on Thursday.
Echeng listed the persons as; Jefferson Obayuwane, Sunday Prince Ubong, Ekene Nweke, Hassan Etila, Avwuvie Kaye Monday, Bukar. A. Kabuiki, Emmanuel Lukpata, Friday Morgan, and Adamu Andrew.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that seven were killed and set ablaze in their vehicles, while two were kidnapped.
Echeng said the deceased included men from Squadron 23, Police Mobile Force Lagos, Inspectors Bukar Adams, Friday Morgan, Adam Andrew and Emmanuel Lupata.
The CP said that security operatives had arrested two persons in connection with the crime and were now helping investigate the matter.
Echeng said joint security forces comprising police tactical teams, the Nigerian Army, and the Nigerian Navy raided a camp in Ogwuanaocha community of Ogbaru, which was suspected to be the hideout of the assailants on Wednesday, May 17 but discovered that it had been deserted.
The personnel of the Lagos Consulate of the U. S. and their police escorts were ambushed on May 16, between 12 noon and 2 pm along Atani/Osamala road in Ogbaru after an assessment tour of erosion-ravaged communities.
Echeng blamed the attack on suspected Eastern Security Network ESN members and proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), adding that efforts were to track the gunmen’s location.
“Information about the incident was received by the police command in Anambra, through an official of the consulate, at about 2:30 pm on Tuesday.
“Consequently, a joint team of Mobile Policemen and troops of the Nigerian Navy stationed in Onitsha was immediately deployed to the area.
“Upon arrival at the scene of the incident, the joint security team sighted and engaged the assailants in a shoot-out, but they escaped through a nearby forest,’’ he said.
He said a further preliminary investigation by the command revealed that five male officials of the U.S. consulate and four armed Mobile Police escorted from Lagos were on a mission to assess the impact of erosion in Ogbaru before they were ambushed.
“Regrettably, seven persons, including three of the consulate officials and four Mobile Police escorts, were murdered during the attack while two other officials of the consulate are yet to be found.
“The deceased police officers include; Bukar Adams, Friday Morgan, Adam Andrew and Emmanuel Lupata,’’ he said.
Echeng said the remains of the deceased persons had been recovered and deposited in a morgue while the state police command and other security agencies were working round-the-clock with the Anambra government to rescue the missing officials.
He appealed to the public to provide information about the identities and locations of the culprits to assist the Police.
Echeng also condoled with families and friends of the deceased persons as well as the U.S. consulate over the tragic incident.