November 30, 2020
The police in Rivers State have arrested three suspects for allegedly detonating devices suspected to be dynamite at the Christian Universal Church Incorporated located at No . 25 Azikiwe Street , Mile 3 area of Diobu , Port Harcourt .
He explained , “ We were all outside because people don’ t sleep early in Azikiwe . Even by 2 am, you will still see people moving about here peacefully and enjoying themselves , because there are some hangouts here.
In the process , an alarm was raised and the local security group known as the Diobu Vigilantes moved in and immediately arrested him and rounded up two others , who shot indiscriminately to pave the way for their escape, not knowing that the vigilantes had spread their dragnet .
“ I was inside when I heard the deafening sound. It shook our building and we were all afraid . We didn’ t come out till later when we heard that some persons had been arrested ,” a woman said.
When our correspondents visited the scene around 7 .25 am on Sunday , the both ends of the street from Ikoku and UBA had been condoned off , while armed policemen and machete -wielding members of the Diobu Vigilantes were seen preventing people from coming into the street .
Speaking on the incident , Assistant Chief Security Officer of the Azikiwe Street , Collins Johnbull , who said he was in the area when the incident occurred, noted that some of his men were hit by bullets, while chasing after the suspects and were receiving treatment in hospital.
He stated , “ I was on my duty post and we observed some movement between 8 pm and 9 pm . We saw some strange faces , about five of them . They entered into the governor father ’s church .
“ We thought they were church members having their normal evening programme or something , but not up to five minutes when these guys entered , we heard the sound of an explosion from that direction and we approached .
“ Immediately the hoodlums started jumping out with masks on their faces and bearing guns ; they started running and shooting at my men . We said, ‘ No, we can ’ t be here and such an act will take place without apprehending these boys .’
Johnbull also said some of his men sustained injuries and were receiving treatment in hospital
He added, “ By God ’s grace, we were able to apprehend three of them , while two escaped; we did everything in our powers , even taking risks to apprehend the hoodlums. Some of my men are receiving treatment at the Life Care Hospital .
The spokesman for the state police command, Nnamdi Omoni , confirmed the attack , saying the perpetrators were suspected IPOB members, adding that the Commissioner of Police , Joseph Mukan , had launched an investigation to ascertain the motive behind the attack as well as apprehend other fleeing suspects .
“ Our bomb unit was there . The personnel swept the place in the early hour of today ( Sunday ) and they are still there . The Area Commander is leading the operation . Policemen will be there until further notice.