The decomposed corpse of former Rivers State Government official, Justice Azundah, has been recovered from Elibrada forest in Emohua Local Government Area of the state.
The deceased, who was the protocol officer to Emeka Woke, the immediate past Chief of State to the former Rivers State Governor, Nysesom Wike, was kidnapped on June 4, 2023.
Accordng to report, Azunda was shot and abducted from his hometown, Isiodu community in Emohua about three weeks ago by a kidnap gang led by notorious kidnapper, Nwodi Amadi Onuigwe.
Following the abduction, the State Commissioner of Police, Nwonyi Polycarp Emeka, ordered his men to go after the notorious gang while the Chairman of Emohua Local Government Area, Dr. Chidi Lloyd, placed a N2m bounty on Nwodi.
Subsequently, the kidnap gang leader and three of his members, including a woman, were killed during a gun duel with the police on Tuesday, June 13, 2023.
Upon neutralisation and capture of members of the gang by operatives of the C4i Intelligence Unit of the Rivers State Police Command, one of them showed the police where Azunda's remains were buried in a shallow grave.
His decomposing body was subsequently exhumed on Thursday, June 22, bagged and moved to a mortuary in his hometown.
Emohua council Chairman, Dr. Lloyd, who led security personnel to recover the remains of late Azunda, declared that his administration has embarked on an aggressive house-keeping in collaboration with security agencies to sanitize the LG from the menace of kidnapping, armed robbery and other criminal activities.
He assured that the Emohua local government council under his watch will stop at nothing to ensure that crime and criminality is eradicated from the area for the overall development of the area.
Bright Jossy-Elendu, the Chief Press Secretary to the LG Chairman, in a statement, said the remains of Justice Azunda was discovered by operatives of the Rivers state police command led by the divisional police officer (DPO) in charge of Rumuji divisional police headquarters, CSP Ofuna in collaboration with members of the Emohua LGA Vigilante Services (EMOVIS) in a shallow grave at the Elibrada section of the forest between Emohua LGA and Ogbodo-Isiokpo in Ikwerre LGA.
“The recovery was made after the apprehension of a member of the already dislodged criminal gang headed by late Nwodi. The suspect who is already currently undergoing interrogation confessed that Mr. Justice was killed after his abduction and buried in a shallow grave in the a forest,” the statement read.
"The suspect however took the police to their camp in a boundary forest between Elibrada-Emohua in Emohua LGA and Ogbodo-Isiokpo in Ikwerre local government area where Nwodi and his criminal gang held their victims hostage, very close to the shallow grave where Justice Azunda's remains was buried.
"Recall that late Justice Azunda was kidnapped by the late notorious kidnapper, Nwodi Onuigwe and his gang in Isiodu community where Mr. Azunda and others were holding a meeting and shot sporadically before taking him away with a motorcycle.
"Justice Azunda's abduction led to the review of the bounty placed on Nwodi and his gang by the chairman of Emohua LGA, Dr. Chidi Lloyd from One Million to Two Million Naira and a week after the bounty was reviewed the Rivers State Police Command confirmed the killing of the wanted Nwodi and three other members of his gang including a female by a special crack team who trailed the criminal gang to Ogoloma community in Okirika LGA.
"Until his abduction, Mr Justice Azunda was the protocol officer to the immediate past chief of staff, Rivers State Government House, Chief Engr Chukwuemeka Woke.
"The Emohua council Boss who couldn't hold back his tears while the remains of Mr Justice Azunda was being exhumed from the shallow grave commending the Rivers State Police commissioner and his men for the success recently recorded in the fight against insecurity in Emohua LGA, enjoined members of the general public, particularly the residents and road users in Emohua LGA to support the government and the security agencies with reliable information to aid the operations of the security personnel deployed to the area, with a view to eradicating crime and criminality in the area.
“Dr. Lloyd also supervised the destruction of a temporary structure erected in the middle of the forest by the late criminal gang leader, Nwodi which served as his hideout before he met his waterloo.”