Ebonyi Bullion Van Attack: Soldier, Dismissed Colleague, Five Others Arrested

A photo released by the police shows some ammunition recovered from the suspects involved in the attack on a bullion van in Ebonyi State on July 29, 2020.

The police have arrested seven suspects involved in the robbery attack on a bullion van and the killing of four policemen in Ebonyi State.

According to a report obtained by Channels Television on Tuesday, the arrests were made barely five days after the incident.

Among those apprehended for the attack were two soldiers – one in active service and the other dismissed.

Channels Television had reported that the bullion van was being escorted by policemen to one of the first-generation banks along Ogoja Road in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital on Wednesday last week before it came under attack.

Following the incident, the police launched a ‘serious manhunt’ of the assailants which led to their arrest in less than one week.

The operation was carried out by police detectives attached to the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), with support from the Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU).

While on the operation, the police team arrested one Alfred Robinson on Saturday last week in Asaba, the Delta State capital.

The 45-year-old suspect is said to be a native of Gelegele town in Ovia North Local Government Area of Edo State.

Upon his arrest, the police recovered a Toyota 4 Runner SUV said to have been snatched alongside others for the purpose of the attack.

Also recovered from Robinson included a GPMG rifle with 153 rounds of live ammunition, five AK 47 rifles with 1,402 rounds of live ammunition, a K2 rifle with loaded magazine, and 51 AK 47 magazines.

An intensive follow up operation by the police team also led to the arrest of six more suspected members of the robbery gang within 24 hours.

Those arrested include Sergeant Ayeni Samuel, 43, who is a serving soldier attached to the Command Day Secondary School at the Nigerian Army Cantonment in Ikeja, Lagos and Corporal Emeka Harrison, 33, a dismissed soldier who until his dismissal was attached to 7 Division Garrison in Maiduguri, Borno State.

Others are Sunday Soyemu, 46, and a native of Alegnene in Ekeremor LGA of Bayelsa State; Emeka Illo, 37, and a native of Igwachi community in Orji River LGA of Enugu State; Abuchi Elijah, 27, and a native of Nsalangwa in Nsalangwa LGA of Abia State; and Ibanifiroi Ekiene, 38, and a native of Tombia community in Degema LGA of Rivers State.

According to the police, the six suspects arrested on Sunday came from various parts of the South-South and South-East.

They were said to be perfecting a planned intended bank robbery in Asaba this week before they were apprehended.

A Lexus 350 SUV containing various arms and ammunition were recovered from them.

The items include 136 rounds of K2 ammunition, five K2 magazines, 12 locally made bomb (unexploded), a KPT power tool 230MM angle grinder, and assorted charms, among others.

“All suspects, upon interrogation, confessed to the bullion van robbery in Ebonyi State where four policemen were killed, with many other armed robberies/kidnappings across the South-East and South-South.

“Suspects also confessed that four out of the rifles recovered belong to the policemen they killed during the bullion van robbery in Ebonyi State. Suspects are assisting police to arrest their remaining gang members,” the report said.

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