Two members of the Imo Community Watch, a security formation established by the state Governor, Rochas Okorocha, by an Act of the state House of Assembly, have been arrested by operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Akokwa Annex, for alleged stealing and gunrunning.
The suspects – Chukwuma Madueke, 36; and 40-year-old Chieleka Obejiri – are cousins and hail from Obiohia in the Ideato South Local Government Area of the state.
The local security men, PUNCH Metro learnt, were arrested by a team of FSARS operatives led by their commander, Banjoko Idahosa, while allegedly stealing from the store of Eastern Palm University, Akokwo.
A police source said the suspects, who were posted on security duties to the university, made away with the school’s building materials valued at N917,000.
He said, “Chukwuma Madueke and Chieleta Obejiri, who are members of the Imo Community Watch, were arrested on September 14 for stealing the university’s property, having broken into a store in the night.
“It was not a one-day operation. They consistently did it until luck ran out on them. A worker at the university, Emeka Obejiri, caught them one night and reported to us.
“We mobilised our men and lay in ambush for them in the school; they were caught in the act.”
The source said a search was conducted on the houses of the suspects, adding that one pump-action rifle and one single-barrelled gun with live cartridges, were recovered from them.
Further investigation revealed that the suspects bought the guns and cartridges from a 60-year-old man, Christian Duru, from Mgbe, in the Orlu LGA and one Christopher Omieri, 65.
He said the suspects had been leveraging on their positions to commit crimes, adding that “it was because of these crimes that CP Chris Ezike, approved the formation of SARS annex in Akokwa.”