Gunmen invade Owerri High Court, free kidnap suspect

Gunmen believed to be members of a notorious kidnap and armed robbery gang invaded the Owerri High Court on Friday and freed a suspected member of the syndicate, Henry Chibueze, who is known as Vampire.

The suspect and others had been brought into the court premises to face kidnapping and other heinous criminal charges before the attack.
It was gathered that shortly after Chibueze, who had been in prison custody in Owerri, and about 50 other in-mates were driven to the court in a police van, about six bandits, armed with sophisticated arms and weapons invaded the premises.

The bandits escaped with Chibueze after a shootout with security operatives, which left several persons with injuries.
The State Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Prisons Service, Mr. Maduba James, said the suspect, Henry, was at large and that over six people were critically injured during the gunfight.

The PRO said, “We were in the office this morning when we got a distress call that some gunmen were in the court premises, we thought they were DSS officials because by then we were conveying over 50 in-mates to the state High Court for hearing.
“However, the gunmen attacked some of our men and some of the in-mates. They were critically injured and have been taking to the hospital.

“Nevertheless, one of the in-mates who we know as Vampire is at large presently but my Comptroller and other security operatives in the state are on top of the situation”.
When also contacted, the State Commissioner of Police, Taiwo Lakanu, said he was dressing up to go to work when he heard the sound gun shots.
He said, “As the court is adjacent to my residence, I quickly moved all the policemen in my compound and we moved to rescue the situation. The hot chase led to the arrest of some suspects.”


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