124 Suspects Arrested Over ‘Vampire’ Lynching

File photo of Malawi City.

Malawian police said on Friday that 124 people have been arrested after a vigilante mob killed two men accused of being “vampires” trying to obtain human blood for voodoo rituals.

The killings bring the death toll to nine as vampire rumours have swept the country’s southern region since last month, forcing authorities to impose a night-time curfew.

“One person was burned and another stoned to death by angry mobs in incidents on Thursday for being suspected to be bloodsuckers,” police spokesman Ramsy Mushani told AFP.

The latest killings took place outside Blantyre, the country’s commercial capital, where angry mobs clashed with police and blocked main roads to protest against the alleged vampire threat.

The country’s police chief said the 124 arrests had been made in a “coordinated operation”.

As public anger has grown, the UN — which is involved in food aid and agricultural programmes — pulled its workers out some areas for safety reasons.

In a report earlier this month, the UN said it had suspended all visits to the affected areas because the situation was “unstable and volatile”.

Rumours of vampires allegedly originated from Mozambique and spread across the border to the Malawian districts of Mulanje and Phalombe, according to the UN.

President Peter Mutharika last week vowed to investigate the killings and the vampire rumours.

Malawi, where witchcraft is widely believed and education standards are low, is regularly dogged by reports of “vampire” activity.

AFP

Police Kill Notorious Kidnap Kingpin, Robbery Suspect, Vampire

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‘Vampire’ with other suspects

Police Special Forces, led by the IGP Intelligence Response Team (IRT) have killed notorious kidnap kingpin and armed robbery suspect, Henry Chibueze, also known as ‘Vampire’.

The wanted criminal met his waterloo early this morning at about 1AM on Thursday during a gunbattle with the IGP Intelligence Response Team in Omu Awa Forest,Ikwerre L.G.A. Rivers State.

Five other members of his gang were arrested alive and cache of arms and ammunition were recovered.

Recall that Vampire had escaped from Imo High Court premises following a shootout between gunmen and security operatives in Owerri, Imo State on January 27th.

In an attack that left several persons wounded,men suspected to be members of his gang attacked the operatives when Vampire and other inmates arrived at the premises of the Imo High Court in Owerri.

According to an eyewitness,the gunmen, over six of them, found their way into the court premises shortly after over 50 inmates were conveyed to court for hearing of various suits filed against them.

The gunmen opened fire on the security operatives and inmates at the court premises shooting sporadically into the air for over 10 minutes leaving several people wounded as Vampire and about eight other inmates escaped.

The Imo Governor, Rochas Okorocha promised a reward of Five million Naira to anyone with valuable information that can lead to the arrest of the escapee criminal.

Imo Govt Promises N5m Reward For Information On Escapee Criminal, ‘Vampire’

Imo Govt. Floats New Airline Says It Will Boost State EconomyThe Imo state Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has promised the sum of 5 million Naira ransom to anyone with useful information on the whereabouts of Henry Chibueze, also known as ‘Vampire’.

The Governor disclosed this after an emergency security meeting with security chiefs in Imo state at the government house in Owerri, the Imo state capital, south east Nigeria.

The suspect had escaped from prison on Friday morning while being conveyed to court alongside other inmates.

Describing the development as very sad, Mr Rochas said that the disappearance of Vampire from the prison custody, poses a lot of security threat to the society.

“Upon my arrival from Abuja this morning, I heard the sad story that a notorious kidnap kingpin, ‘Vampire’, has escaped from the prison when he was being conveyed to court.

“It is on record that ‘Vampire’ is a dangerous kidnapper who has kidnapped and killed over 100 people, I remember when he was arrested by the men of the DSS in 2015, I personally went there to interview him, vampire still being out there, poses a big threat to the society.

“The Imo state government will give the sum of 5 million naira to anyone with useful information about Vampire’s whereabout, however Imolites should go about their normal duties without any fear” the governor said.

He however charged security operatives in the state to go after the suspected kidnap kingpin and arrest him before he commits any further heinous crime.

Furthermore, he called on all Imo citizens to go about their lawful duties without any fear, as the combined efforts of security operatives and the state government, would ensure adequate security of lives and property.

 

Suspected Criminal Gang Attacks Court In Imo, Sets Accused ‘Vampire’ Free

Justice Ademola's Trial OpensA suspect standing trial for crimes that include kidnapping, Henry Chibueze, also known as Vampire has escaped from Imo High Court premises following a shootout between gunmen and security operatives.

The attack left several persons wounded. No death has been reported so far.

Men suspected to be members of a gang attacked the operatives when the suspected criminal and other inmates arrived at the premises of the Imo High Court in Owerri, the capital of the southeastern state.

Eight other inmates were also said to have escaped.

Eyewitness said the gunmen, over six of them, found their way into the court premises shortly after over 50 inmates were conveyed to court for hearing of various suits filed against them.

The gunmen opened fire on the security operatives and inmates at the court premises shooting sporadically into the air for over 10 minutes leaving several people wounded,.

According to the eyewitness, the gunmen were able to whisk away Henry Chibueze, whom was described as a “notorious criminal and kidnapper” who has been in prison since July 2015.

“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,” the eyewitness, who pleaded anonimity, told reporters.

“We Thought They Were DSS”

Confirming the incident to reporters, the spokesman for the Nigeria Police Force in Imo State, Maduba James, said the suspect, Chibueze, also known as Vampire was presently at large and that over five persons were critically injured due to the sporadic gun shots by the gunmen.

He told reporters that security operatives were on top of the situation to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order in the state.

Mr James said: “We were in the office this morning when we got a call that some gunmen were in the court premises. 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.

“Meanwhile, one of the inmates, who we know as Vampire, is at large presently but my controller and other security operatives are on top of the situation”.

At the moment, there is heavy presence of security operatives in the court premises and several clusters of people discussing the sad incident.