US Consulate Officials Ambushed in Anambra State by Suspected ESN/IPOB Members
Ambush in Anambra State: US Consulate Officials Killed in ESN/IPOB Attack
Officials from the Lagos Consulate of the United States of America and their police escorts were ambushed on May 16, 2023, between 12:00 and 14:00 hours along Atani/Osamela road in Ogbaru Local Government Area (LGA) of Anambra State, according to the Anambra State Police command. The attack was allegedly carried out by suspected members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Ogbaru LGA, one of the areas severely affected by last year’s flood, which led to devastating erosion, witnessed this unfortunate incident. The Commissioner of Police, Echeng Echeng, addressed the media at the state Police headquarters in Awka, explaining that the command did not receive information about the attack promptly.
The Commissioner stated, “A team of officials from the Lagos Consulate of the United States of America and their police escorts (USA) were ambushed on May 16, 2023, between 12:00 and 14:00 hours along Atani/Osamela road in Ogbaru Local Government Area (LGA) of Anambra State by suspected Eastern Security Network ESN/Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.”
He further revealed that the Anambra State Police Command received information about the incident around 14:30 hours through an official from the consulate. In response, a joint team of Mobile Policemen and Nigerian Navy troops stationed in Onitsha was immediately deployed to the area. Upon reaching the scene, the security team engaged the assailants in a shootout, but they managed to escape into a nearby forest.
Following the attack, joint security forces consisting of police tactical teams, the Nigerian Army, and the Nigerian Navy conducted a raid on a suspected camp in Ogwuaneocha community of Ogbaru LGA on Wednesday. However, they discovered that the camp had been deserted. Two persons of interest were apprehended and are currently assisting the police in the ongoing investigation. The joint security team also razed down the criminal camp.
Preliminary investigations conducted by the command revealed that the convoy consisted of five male officials from the USA consulate and four armed Mobile Police escorts. They were on a mission to assess the impact of erosion in Ogbaru LGA. Suddenly, armed men attacked the convoy, firing gunshots and setting their vehicles ablaze. Tragically, seven individuals, including three consulate officials and four Mobile Police escorts, lost their lives during the attack. Two consulate officials are still missing.
The police officers who lost their lives have been identified as Inspector Bukar Adams, Inspector Friday Morgan, Inspector Adam Andrew, and Inspector Emmanuel Lupata, all from Squadron 23, Police Mobile Force, Lagos. Thankfully, no U.S. citizens were among the casualties.
According to information provided by the USAID authority, five of their staff members and four policemen were involved in the attack. The individuals are identified as Jefferson Obayuwane (Retired DSS personnel), Sunday Prince Ubong, Ekene Nweke, Hassan Etila, Avwuvie Kaye Monday, Bukar A. Kabuiki (Police), Emmanuel Lukpata (Police), Friday Morgan (Police), and Adamu Andrew (Police).
The remains of the deceased have been recovered and deposited in a morgue. The Anambra State Police Command, in collaboration with other security agencies and the government of Anambra State, is working tirelessly to locate and rescue the missing officials.
The Commissioner of Police urged members of the public to provide timely information about the identities and whereabouts of the culprits to assist in the investigation. He expressed condolences to the families and friends of the deceased persons as well as the USA Consulate, assuring them of