The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, says preliminary investigation has revealed that the overnight attack on the Imo State Police Headquarters and a correctional facility was carried out by members of the Eastern Security Network which was established by the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra.
In a statement which CP Frank Mba, Force Public Relations Officer, issued on his behalf, the IGP directed the Commissioner of Police in Imo to carry out holistic investigations into the incident with a view to fishing out the perpetrators and bringing them to justice.
SaharaReporters had reported how armed men in the early hours of Monday attacked a correctional facility in Owerri, the Imo State capital, freeing some inmates.
They also proceeded to the State Police Headquarters where they set ablaze the building and destroyed all vehicles within the vicinity.
The statement read, “The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M. A. Adamu, NPM, mni has ordered the immediate deployment of additional units of Police Mobile Force (PMF) and other Police Tactical Squads to Imo State to strengthen security in the state and prevent further attacks on security formations or any other critical national infrastructure in the state.
“The IGP gave the directives following the attack on security operatives and formations, including the Imo State Police Command Headquarters and the headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCS) in Owerri in the early hours of today, Monday, 5th April, 2021.
“Preliminary investigations have revealed that the attackers, who came in their numbers with sophisticated weapons such as General-Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs), Sub-Machine Guns (SMGs), AK49 rifles, Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs), Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), are members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)/Eastern Security Network (ESN).
“The attempt by the attackers to gain access to the police armoury at the headquarters was totally and appropriately resisted by police operatives on duty who repelled the attackers and prevented them from breaking in and looting the armoury. The armoury is thus intact! Similarly, the police suffered no human casualty, apart from a police constable who sustained a minor bullet wound on his shoulder.
“Meanwhile, one of the operational vehicles of the attackers has been recovered by the police and is currently being subjected to forensic scrutiny and investigations.
“The IGP, who condemned the attack on the security outfits, has further directed the CP to harness the security reinforcement squads and other operational assets at his disposal to take the battle to the doorsteps of the attackers and prevent any further attack anywhere within the state and its environs.
“The IGP, who described the deliberate and criminal attack on security operatives as an attack on the soul of our nation, has enjoined leaders in Imo State, the South-East and other parts of the country to speak out against the unfolding violence and criminality.
“The IGP calls on citizens to avail the police and other security agencies with useful information that can assist in identifying and arresting the criminals. He vowed that the perpetrators will be brought to book, noting that the Force is doing all within its powers to curb the activities of unscrupulous elements hell-bent on threatening the unity, safety, security and socio-economic well-being of Nigerians.”
IPOB's leader, Nnamdi Kanu, had in December 2020 launched ESN to protect the people of South-East and South-South regions from terrorists and bandits allegedly trooping in from the North.
The IPOB leader described the outfit as a replica of the Western Nigeria Security Network, also known as Amotekun, earlier launched by the South-West governors to curb insecurity in the region.
"The sole aim and objective of this newly formed security outfit known as Eastern Security Network are to halt every criminal activity and the terrorist attack on Biafraland," Kanu had said.
"This outfit, which is a vigilante group like the Amotekun in the South-West and the Miyetti Allah security outfit, will ensure the safety of our forests and farmland, which terrorists have converted into slaughter grounds and raping fields."