Hoodlums have attacked operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency at Odunze lane, Mile 3 axis of Diobu in Port Harcourt and freed an arrested suspect, Izuu Isuofia.
It was learnt that three officials of the NDLEA, who disguised as civilians were on an operation in the area (Odunze lane at Mile 3 Diobu) last known for illicit drug activities on Friday.
An eyewitness, who does not want to be mentioned in print over fear of harassment, said the NDLEA operatives had arrested a suspected drug dealer in the area popularly known as ’50’ and were dragging him to a waiting patrol van stationed at a nearby street along IKwerre Road Iheoma street in Mile 3 Diobu when some suspected cultists swooped in on the officials.
The eye witness said minutes later, over 100 hoodlums, bearing bottles and other dangerous weapons started pelting stones and bottles at the NDLEA team, some of whom sustained some injuries.
The NDLEA men fired some shots into the air, but the cult boys were still stoning and they eventually aided the escape of their ally ’50’ before the NDLEA patrol van arrived on the scene.
“Because of that, there was serious traffic on that Ikwerre Road axis. Many people who have businesses there and even people passing on that street ran away because of the shooting.”
Our correspondent also reports that the hoodlums went on a rampage robbing passersby, but on sighting police patrol vans fled with their rescued colleague ’50’ who was in handcuffs.
Meanwhile, the NDLEA has confirmed the attack on its personnel, saying the suspect, ‘50’ was arrested with large quantities of cannabis sativa.
The NDLEA spokesman, Rivers State Command, Emmanuel Ogbumgbada in a statement made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt said the hoodlums also carted away the drugs seized alongside the suspect
The statement titled ‘‘Mob attack on operatives of NDLEA Rivers State Command’, however, said the state Commander had ordered the re-arrest of the fugitive and his gang members.
The statement read, “In the evening of Friday, April 14, 2023, operatives of NDLEA Rivers state command raided a hangout/drinking joint around Odunze street, mile 3 Diobu, Port Harcourt and a suspected drug dealer named Izuu Isuofia popularly called ’50’ was apprehended with a large quantity of Cannabis Sativa.
“While trying to move the suspect to the patrol van, he raised alarm and was resisting arrest which resulted in a scuffle, and within minutes, hoodlums in their large numbers attacked our officers with bottles and stones, and managed to free the already handcuffed suspect as well as carting away his exhibit before the arrival of our back-up team.
“The state Commander, Ahmed Mamuda has tasked operatives of the Command to deploy all necessary arsenals to ensure that the suspect and his cohorts are arrested and brought to justice.”