Arms dealers from Cameroun smuggle weapons packaged with stockfish from into Southeast – Anambra CP

Anthony Ogbekile

The Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Aderemi Adeoye has said that illegal arms used by insurgents to terrorize people in the South East geopolitical zone were being brought from Cameroon through Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Addressing reporters in Awka on Monday, the CP also paraded 129 suspects, including eight persons arrested for the vandalisation of the newly constructed Second Niger Bridge, as well as suspected kidnappers and cultists. Adeoye said the arms dealers usually package the weapons with stockfish and bring them to a place near Aba, Abia State for ready buyers. He hinted that weapons are also sold in the Onitsha Main Market in Anambra State, adding that from his  long experience of service in the state, which commenced  in the 1990s, the situation had even worsened recently. He said that within the last three months, the command had  recovered 26 firearms and arrested 30 insurgents.

He described the Onitsha Main market as one of the sources for the proliferation of weapons, while Awka blacksmiths, who manufacture local guns also contribute to the proliferation of illegal arms in the state. According to him, the Inspector General of Police gave a grace period for people with illegal firearms to return them to the police, stating that within the grace period nobody would be punished or prosecuted for returning such arms. He said: “After this grace period we shall begin search and recovery of such firearms the way that it had not happened in this part of the world and culprits will be prosecuted appropriately.” On the second Niger Bridge, the CP said: “Vandalisation of the Bridge has continued. A month ago, the Federal Ministry of Works alerted us on the activities of vandals on the project, which was built at huge cost.  “I visited, observed the damage and gave matching order to smash the syndicate. In collaboration with the ministry and Julius Berger, five suspects were arrested. They specialize in stealing iron grills and drainage covers on the bridge. “Based on their confession, we moved in and arrested three people who buy the irons from them.” The commissioner also spoke on the increasing cases of cultism and cult related killings in Awka. “It is a major cause for concern and people feel unsafe, but we have been reassuring them. We went to work and within a week, 34 cult suspects were arrested and charged to court, and the judiciary remanded all of them in prison custody. “We also tracked one of the most serial killers and arrested him in his hideout in Enugu and he admitted that his gang had killed four in the last six months,” he said.

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