Many people were left with bullet wounds after gunmen stormed the Imo State high court premises, breaking away a suspect who was standing trial for crimes that include kidnapping.
The kidnap suspect, Henry Chibueze, also known as Vampire, was among the over 50 people brought to the court for the hearing of various cases against them. He was said to have been in prison since July 2015.
Eyewitness told newsmen that the gunmen, over six of them, found their way into the court premises and opened fire on the security operatives and inmates.
The sporadic shooting was said to have lasted for over 10 minutes leaving several people wounded. No death has so far been reported in the incident.
One of the eyewitnesses who pleaded anonymity said: “We were here in the court premises when a lawyer came to call us to enter room three for hearing.
“Shortly after that we started hearing sporadic gunshots. About six gunmen entered the court and started shooting. Some people were even wounded.
“They came with a Jeep and eventually they whisked away one of the inmates who the prisons officials brought to the court for hearing. The gunshot lasted over 10 minutes,” he said.
The Imo State Police Command, through its public relations officer, Maduba James, confirmed the incident saying.
“We were in the office this morning when we got a call that some gunmen were in the court premises,” he told reporters.
“We thought they were DSS officials because by then we were conveying over 50 inmates to the state High Court for hearing.”
“However, the gunmen attacked some of our men and some of the inmates. They are critically injured now and have been taken to a hospital.
He also confirmed that “one of the inmates, who we know as Vampire, is at large presently”, adding that “my controller and other security operatives are on top of the situation”.