The police in Imo State, Nigeria’s South-east, said they have repelled another attempt by hoodlums to attack the command’s headquarters in Owerri on Sunday.
Five of the gunmen, the police said, were killed during the attack.
The police also announced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Uguchi Unachukwu who returned home from Germany and was allegedly murdered on May 31 in Imo State.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Abutu Yaro, confirmed the failed attack in a statement from the police spokesperson, Bala Alkana.
Mr Yaro said gallant officers killed five of the hoodlums during crossfire, while others fled with gunshot injuries.
“Hoodlums masquerading as unknown gunmen attempted an attack on the police headquarters this morning but suffered a huge defeat.
“They made efforts to access the police headquarters through the Works Layout around Avan Nursery and Primary School but were vehemently repelled.
“They came in a white Hummer Bus, five of the hoodlums were killed during an exchange of fire and others were injured.
“The Hummer bus was recovered with four AK47 rifles previously stolen from the police during a recent attack on its station, while officers have been deployed to apprehend the fleeing hoodlums.
A similar attack on the police headquarters in the state in April had rattled police authorities in the state. Gunmen on the same day also attacked a correctional facility in Owerri and freed over 1,800 inmates.
Police operatives in the South-east and South-south have been the target of deadly attacks by gunmen suspected to be members of IPOB, a pro-Biafra group.
The group, which has been proscribed by the Nigerian government, has denied their involvement in the attacks.
On Mr Unachukwu’s death, the police commissioner said the command would unravel circumstances leading to the death.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that Mr Unachukwu was shot dead on his way to the Sam Mbakwe Airport to catch a flight to travel back to Germany.
He was allegedly murdered in front of his wife and two children by men in military uniform.
“On May 31, 2021 at about 0804 hours, the deceased person was alleged to have been shot by personnel suspected to be staff of 211 Regiment of the Nigerian Air Force, responsible for the security of the International Airport.
“The deceased is said to be on his way to catch a flight to Lagos, a survivor stated that one of the Air Force operatives shot the car of Unachukwu when he failed to stop at the Air Force checkpoint after they had flagged him down.
“The Air Force team at the toll gate, who were already on red alert especially considering the recent killing of a high profile politician around the same area, intercepted a fast approaching Mercedes Benz vehicle.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that the personnel flagged down the vehicle and ordered the driver to park by the roadside for search but the driver who at first slowed down and pretended to move to the side of the road, suddenly took off.
“According to the Air Force, being suspicious of the mission of the occupants of the said vehicle at the International Airport, they made effort to demobilise the vehicle and when the vehicle eventually came to a halt, the operatives rounded it and ordered the occupants out.
“It was at this point that a female passenger in the car mentioned that the man driving the vehicle was her husband and that he was rushing to catch his flight.
“He was however, rushed to hospital by the Air Force team for medical attention where the doctors on duty made frantic efforts to stabilise him, but he later died at about 1900 hours of the same date.
“We sue for calm and assure the family and friends of the deceased that no stone will be left unturned in unravelling the circumstances surrounding the death,” the statement stated.