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The Imo State Police Command has arrested a Senior Special Assistant to Governor Rochas Okorocha, Barrister Okechukwu Okorocha, for illegally being in possession of arms.
In a meeting with journalists at the Police headquarters in Owerri on Friday, the Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Andrew Enwerem, said that Okorocha was arrested after operatives from the State Criminal Investigation Department, acting on a tip-off that some top government functionaries were stockpiling arms with the intention to disrupt the general elections in Imo State, conducted a cordon-and-search operation at his residence in the early hours of Friday and recovered three pump action automatic rifles with 24 live cartridges and a Kenwood walkie-talkie.
The police spokesman noted that Okorocha had acted contrary to an instruction from the police to all residents, particularly members of the State Vigilante Service, to surrender all the arms and other dangerous weapons in their possession before the general elections.
“We have been announcing that the vigilante will not be part of the security beef up at the polling centres during the elections. As a result, we have been warning them to return the prohibited firearms in their possession to Divisional Police Officers nearest to them,” Enwerem said.
In a similar operation by the State CID in Owerri, three automatic pump action rifles with 14 live cartridges were found in the security post of Ebuada Housing Estate in the city. In the process of recovering the weapons, Kelechi Onuoha, Chigozie Uzowuru, Osita Obiako and Linus Aka were also arrested.
In all, six automatic pump action rifles and 38 live cartridges were recovered from all the suspects who failed to conform to the directives of the police to surrender their arms.
“It is believed that these arms were going to be used to disrupt the coming elections. The arrested suspects are currently in the custody of the police and they are undergoing interrogation. This is what we have done in preparation to ensure that there is a peaceful, credible, free and fair elections in Imo State,” the PPRO said.