Police To Honour 6 Slain Officers Killed In Delta Forest, Arrest 5 Suspects

The Nigeria Police Force has expressed profound sadness as it confirmed the murder of six, and another six of its courageous officers missing during an ambush in Ohoro Forest, Delta State.

The officers met their tragic end when armed assailants laid ambush on them while undertaking a mission to investigate the disappearance, and rescue of three of their colleagues in the forest.

ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the Force Public Relations Officer, in a statement on Saturday said “the Nigeria Police Force is profoundly saddened by the devastating loss of six (6) courageous officers in Delta State, who exhibited exceptional valour in the face of adversity.”

“These brave officers tragically fell victim to a cowardly ambush by armed assailants while undertaking a mission to investigate the disappearance and rescue of three of their colleagues in the Ohoro Forest, Delta State, while six (6) others are currently missing-in-action.

“Our hearts extend to the families, friends, and colleagues of the fallen officers during this period of profound sorrow. We stand in solidarity with them, offering our deepest condolences and earnestly praying for the peaceful repose of the departed souls,” Adejobi said in the statement.

Adejobi named the deceased officers as Inspector Abe Olubunmi (IRT) enlisted on 1st August, 2003; Inspector Friday Irorere (51 PMF) enlisted on 1st January, 2003; Sergeant Kuden Elisha (51 PMF) enlisted on 17th October, 2011; Sergeant Akpan Aniette (51 PMF) enlisted on 17th October, 2011; Sergeant Ayere Paul (IRT) enlisted on 17th October, 2011; and Sergeant Ejemito Friday (51 PMF) enlisted on 17th October, 2011.

Those currently missing-in-action include Inspector Onoja Daniel enlisted 1st February, 2003; Inspector Onogho Felix enlisted on 1st January, 2004; Inspector Emmanuel Okoroafor enlisted 1st April, 2004; Inspector Joel Hamidu enlisted 1st June 2006, Sergeant Moses Eduvie enlisted 17th October, 2011, all of 51 PMF; and Sergeant Cyril Okorie (SWAT) enlisted 17th October, 2011.

He stated that the Nigeria Police Force is committed to honouring the memory of the fallen heroes by recognizing their bravery, dedication, and sacrifice.

“In accordance with this commitment, the Force will posthumously honour the slain officers for their noble service and ultimate sacrifice at the Nigeria Police Awards and Commendations Ceremony scheduled for April 5th, 2024 in Abuja,” Adejobi said.

The statement added that the Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun, in response to this grievous loss, has taken decisive actions as expected.

“The bodies of six (6) of the slain officers have been recovered after a fierce search conducted by a combined team of police officers and other security outfits. The Force is focused on the search for the other six (6) officers; while all their families have been duly contacted,” he said.

Additionally, he said the police boss has mandated the expedited processing and payment of all entitlements due to the families of the fallen officers with a bid to alleviate any financial burdens they may encounter in this challenging time.
Assuring that immediate measures have been initiated to ensure justice is served on the perpetrators, the IGP has mandated the deployment of all necessary resources and personnel to apprehend those responsible for the “senseless killing of our officers.”

Adejobi further disclosed that five (5) suspects have been arrested in connection with the preceding incident and the killing and are currently volunteering information necessary for the rounding up of all the perpetrators.

The statement said “it is paramount to underscore that contrary to perceived notions in some quarters, the Nigeria Police Force is committed to responding decisively to the loss of its officers and men as a result of the many unforeseen hazards associated with our job due to the dynamics of crimes and criminality globally.

“Recent incidents, such as the murder of SP Angbashim in Rivers State, where the perpetrators have been painstakingly traced to their hideout and decimated during the exchange of gunfire with gallant operatives of the Force is a vital pointer.”

The police also cited the swift and robust response to the attack on the Police Command Headquarters in Adamawa State where one Inspector Jacob Daniel was gruesomely murdered, which was followed by a visit to Adamawa State by the IGP, and timeous response by President Bola Tinubu upon being briefed.

The police spokesman said efforts were intensified in that regard to seek redress and ensure sanctions for the attackers.

“The Nigeria Police Force unequivocally condemns any further assaults on Police Officers and other law enforcement personnel who selflessly dedicate themselves to safeguarding the lives and property of all citizens, reiterating the NPF’s dedication to upholding law and order, and urging our officers to remain resolute in the discharge of their lawful duties, undeterred by such cowardly acts,” the statement said.

The police further urged individuals and groups peddling unnecessary and insensitive publications in the media space not to make light of the loss to the NPF but to sympathize with the police in these sorrowful times.

The IGP assured police officers and men, as well as the public that no effort will be spared in bringing the perpetrators of the heinous act to justice, saying the killers have murdered sleep and will be tracked down to account for their reprehensible acts.

He called upon well-meaning members of the public to collaborate with the Police by providing any pertinent information that may aid in the apprehension of the perpetrators, noting that “together, we will ensure that justice is served and peace and security prevail throughout the country.”

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