Unknown gunmen have killed five policemen and a couple at the Okpala Junction in the Ngor Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State.
The incident which happened on Friday morning, April 21, 2023, has thrown the entire community into a state of panic as commercial activities had abruptly come to end.
The couple identified as Mr. and Mrs. Chinaka Nwagu, who hailed from Amankwo Okpala community, had relocated from Lagos a year ago.
A source who identified himself as Uche and a relative to the couple told Punch that the slain cops drove from neighbouring Abo Mbaise police division to eat at the junction.
According to the source, the policemen were eating when the gunmen drove to the scene and opened fire on them.
He said that while three police were shot dead at the scene, two others ran to a nearby shop but their attackers raced to the shop and killed them and equally killed a couple who owned the shop they ran into.
The eyewitness disclosed that after killing the policemen, the gunmen carted away their five rifles.
“It is a black Friday in our community. Gunmen around 8am shot five policemen dead at Okpala junction. The policemen drove in a white coloured Hilux from Aboh Mbaise Police Division to eat at the junction,” the source narrated.
“As they were eating, gunmen drove to the place and opened fire on them. Two out of the five policemen ran to a nearby shop where a couple sold meat pie and sachet water. After killing the three policemen, they came two the shop where the two other officers were hiding, and killed them. They also killed a husband and wife that owned the shop.
“They took away their rifles and drove off. This is so unfortunate. Our community is bleeding. Everybody is confused. The couple just relocated from Lagos about one year ago. We just deposited their bodies in a mortuary. The market is shut. People here ran away out of shock and fear. This is unbelievable.”
Another source, Dominic Okpor, said that he saw the lifeless bodies of the cops on the road when he drove through the Owerri – Aba Road.
“The bodies of the five policemen were lying on the road as we drove through. Their Hilux was also parked at the junction. The scene was horrible. It is terrible. God have mercy,” he said.