Police arrest suspect in Soludo’s attack

THE Anambra State Police Command has arrested a suspect connected with the attack on the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) and a gubernatorial aspirant in the state, Chukwuka Soludo.

Anambra State police public relations officer Ikenganya Tochukwu disclosed this in a statement issued in Awka on Thursday.

Gunmen attacked Soludo on Wednesday during a political rally at Isuofia Civic Centre in Aguata LGA in the state.

The attack led to the killing of three police officers while the attackers also abducted the state commissioner for water resources and public utilities, Emeka Ezenwanne.

According to the police, the security operatives who sustained ‘severe gunshot injuries’ were confirmed dead in the state hospital.

Tochukwu said the state commissioner of police Monday, Bala Kuryas, had reinforced Soludo’s residence and community security operatives.

“To this end, the CP, while condemning the act, commiserates with the family and friends of the officers who paid the supreme price, ordered the immediate launch of a tacit investigation to unravel the mystery behind the incident, as well as to bring perpetrators of the barbaric act to book,” the statement read in part.

When asked about the omission of the suspect’s name in the statement, Tochukwu said the command deliberately withdrew it because it was an undercover investigation.

“Yes, we deliberately withdrew the name of the arrested suspect because it is an undercover operation, and we are currently on the trail of others,” Tochukwu said.

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The attack came just about eight months to the gubernatorial election in Anambra State, when the second tenure of the incumbent Governor Willie Obiano will have been over.

Eight months to election in Anambra State

According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the state’s gubernatorial election was scheduled to hold on Saturday, November 2021.

Soludo had declared his intention to contest for the seat under the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in February.

Political analysts say the attack could sow fear into the minds of intending voters in the upcoming election.

Head of Election Programs at YIAGA Africa Paul James said the attack raised a major concern.

According to James, whose civil society organisation focuses on promoting democratic governance, there were reasons to be concerned because it could hinder voter turnout during the election.



    He said during the previous governorship election in 2017, only 21 percent voter turnout was recorded.

    James further stated that another concern was that security operatives would not act on time to mitigate or curb electoral violence but rather do so a few weeks to the election.

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    “Another concern for me is the state of security in that region. You have the IPOB there, and you know Anambra State is known for having a good number of political big guns, so I feel we should be concerned that this is happening,” James said.

    INEC chief press secretary Rotimi Oyekanmi did not respond to questions from The ICIR concerning the attack.

    Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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