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One killed as Chime escapes assassination

One killed as Chime escapes assassination

One person was shot dead as Enugu State governor, Sullivan Chime, escaped a suspected assassination plot by armed men, who invaded Enugu Government House in the early hours of Saturday.

 LightNews gathered that while Chime was asleep in his Lodge at the Government House, Independence Layout, the armed men stormed the entrance gate around 4.30 am and attempted to force themselves into the premises, but were resisted by the security operatives on duty.

Sources inside Government House, who pleaded anonymity, said the invaders were about 50 in number and were wielding machetes and other dangerous weapons.

Our sources said the invaders initially claimed that they were members of Movement for Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), protesting against the killing of Igbo in the Northern part of the country.

Security operatives however became suspicious of the motive of the invaders when they macheted an operative of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and attacked a military patrol vehicle, in a bid to gain entry into the Government House.

Sensing danger, the security operatives engaged the invaders, gunned one of them down and arrested three, while the others escaped.

A resident of a nearby street, who pleaded anonymity, said he heard about 50 gunshots from the direction of Government House around 4.30 and later saw from his window, some young men shouting and running along the street.

Giving his own account of the incident, Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the Governor, Fidelis Ogarabe, said he left Government House at about 2.am and was in his house when he received a call from his men around 4.am, alerting him that there were armed invaders there.

Ogarabe said he drove to Government House immediately and saw some persons armed with machetes at the gate, trying to force their way into the premises.

The CSO said since the men were armed with machetes and there are rules of engagement, he tried to contain them until they macheted an NSCDC operatives.

“I ordered my men to move into action immediately and one of them was gunned down, while three others were arrested.

“The others threw away their machetes and escaped”, he said.

Ogarabe disclosed that his men recovered machetes, flags and insignia linked to a dreaded secret cult from the fleeing invaders, adding that those arrested were handed over to the nearby New Haven Police Station.

It was gathered that three of the invaders arrested were from Aguleri town in Anambra State.

There were also reports that bullets fired by the police could not penetrate the body of most of the invaders.

In a statement, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Chukwudi Achife, said around 4.30 am, some armed men wanted to force their way into the Government House, but met a stiff resistance from security operatives on duty.

Achife said a security operative was wounded, while one of the armed men was gunned down and three others arrested.

He added that the arrested invaders have been handed over to the police for further investigation.

LightNews gathered that Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Adamu Mohammed Abubakar, was at the scene on Saturday for an on-the-pot assessment.

Spokesman of the police in Enugu State, Ebere Amaraizu, confirmed the incident, saying that no fewer than three persons have been arrested, while full-scale investigation has commenced.

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