Posted by FROM LAWRENCE NJOKU, ENUGU on
Gunmen suspected to be hired assassins on Friday morning stormed the residence of the member representing Nnewi North, South and Ekwusigo Anambra State federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Dr. Harry Oranezi...
Gunmen suspected to be hired assassins on Friday morning stormed the residence of the member representing Nnewi North, South and Ekwusigo Anambra State federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Dr. Harry Oranezi, killing a mobile policeman guarding the house. Parts of the building were also riddled with bullets.
Oranezi, however, escaped the assassins' bullet as he had travelled the previous day to Abuja leaving his brothers and members of their families, who had a bitter encounter with the assailants. He described the incident as another dimension in the lingering political crisis rocking the state.
The deceased police officer, Mr. Patrick Anugba, who was one of the two security men posted to his house during the Christmas holiday following a complaint he made to the President, Inspector-General of Police and the National Security Adviser, among others alleging a plot by certain people to assassinate him, was said to have engaged the killers in a shootout. The assailants were said to have tried to force their way into Oranezi's apartment in the duplex located at Ebenator town in Nnewi South Local Government Area, when the security men encountered them.
Anugba was shot on the chest and the head in the shootout and was said to have died instantly.
Narrating the incident to reporters at the scene yesterday, Oranezi's elder brother, Louis and sister-in-law, Augusta, said the assassins who were four in number, struck at about 12.10a.m Friday after climbing the fence and demanded the whereabouts of the lawmaker.
According to them, the heavily armed assailants who came into the premises tried to force their way into one of the rooms where the occupant was asked to take them to the bedroom of the lawmaker after ransacking his bags and took away N11,000. The young man was said to have told them that the lawmaker was not at home having travelled the previous day, but they disbelieved him because of the presence of his two vehicles parked within the premises.
"They broke the glass of one of the windows leading to the lawmaker's apartment but met a steel door that prevented them from entering into the room, and as they made for another apartment on the ground floor that had a link to Oranezi's room, they ran into Anugba who opened fire at them but was overpowered", they said.
They continued that, his colleague, who had taken cover in a cassava farm in the compound, according to the eyewitnesses, also opened fire injuring one of the assailants who was immediately taken away by his colleagues in their vehicle parked outside the premises.
"They (assailants) came in around 12.10am when we were sleeping. I was woken up by the commotion they were causing downstairs and all of a sudden I heard gunshots in the compound. When I peeped through the window, I saw four men carrying guns and moving around the compound and shouting 'where is the Honourable, where is the Honourable?'. I heard somebody groaning in pains and then I heard a car driving away and all went quiet. But we discovered later that one of the Mobile policemen, Patrick had been shot and killed in the raid," Augusta said.
Speaking to reporters on the incident, the Legislator said he left for Abuja the previous day after the Christmas and New Year festivities to attend to a matter relating to the Resident Doctor's strike, but was alerted by his relations from home that assassins had invaded his home early Friday morning and killed a policeman.
He said that he immediately contacted the Police Area Commander at Nnewi, who mobilized his men to the scene and confirmed the incident, adding that the deceased policeman was one of the two assigned to him after he complained of a plot to eliminate him along with some other political opponents of Governor Ngige.
According to him, the Area Commander arranged and took the corpse of the deceased police constable to the Visitation Hospital Mortuary at Osumenyi.
"Immediately, I was informed about the incident I called the Area Commander to inform him and he acted swiftly, came and saw things for himself and took the corpse to the mortuary. I now decided not to go further than that until I come home and see things for myself so that whatever I will write in form of lodging a complaint, will be in totality," said a dazed Oranezi.
The Police Area Commander for Nnewi, Mr. Matthew Uyanna, who confirmed the incident in a telephone interview yesterday, said that the matter was being investigated, promising that everything possible would be done to apprehend the assailants.
He stated that the remains of the deceased officer had been deposited at the mortuary, adding that already security had been beefed up around the residence of the lawmaker.
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