Three suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have been killed while two others were arrested by the police following a gun battle in an uncompleted building situated in a valley in Amaifeke, Orlu in Imo State.
This was disclosed by the state Commissioner of Police, CP Rabiu Hussaini, in a statement signed by the police spokesperson in the state, Michael Abattam on Sunday.
The police commissioner said the members of the group, on sighting the police operatives in their hideout, opened fire.
He alleged that members the proscribed IPOB and its security wing, Eastern Security Network (ESN) were planning to “resume terror attacks on police formations and government installations in the state”.
A statement by the state police command said, “After diligent gathering of technical intelligence, that members of the proscribed IPOB/ESN members were sighted planning to resume terror attacks on police formations and government installations in the state at about 1230 hours, the command’s tactical teams immediately mobilised and stormed the hideout out of the group.
“The gallant and battle ready tactical teams swiftly returned the fire. In the gun duel, three of the hoodlums namely Chidera Nnabuhe, the Orlu Sector Commander of IPOB/ ESN, aka ‘DRAGON’, a native of Umuala Amaifeke in Orlu LGA and two others with aka J.J and Dadawa, both natives of Ohazara in Ebonyi state were neutralised.
“Emeka Sunday, aged 20 of Anike in Ohazara LGA of Ebonyi State and Anthony Okeke, aged 44 of Umuala Amaifeke Orlu LGA of Imo were arrested while others escaped into the bush with bullet wounds.
“On searching the camp and its surroundings, a native goat that had just been slaughtered with the blood drained into a container and rubbed on their bodies to fortify themselves against police bullet was recovered alongside the following items: two locally fabricated General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG) , Sixteen Improvised Explosives Devices (IEDs), one English-made pump action gun, two locally made pistols, thirty–seven rounds of live cartridges, three Automatic Machine Guns kick starter and one bomb detonator.”
Other items said to have been recovered include a big container of gun powder, charms , two Biafran flags, three bomb detonator remote controls, six mobile phones, a black travelling bag containing male clothes suspected to have been stolen or belonging to a kidnapped victim with “GSM NUMBER 08034958267 pasted on it”.
The command disclosed that most of the members of the group have been on the wanted list of the police for months “especially, Chidera Nnabuhe, aka ‘DRAGON’”, said to be the commander of Orlu Sector of IPOB/ ESN.
The statement continued, “It is on good record that this is the terror group that has been terrorising the good people of Orlu. And investigation revealed that all the violent crimes including the high profile kidnappings and armed robberies that have been going within Orlu axis were being masterminded by them.
“Investigation is ongoing and the suspects arrested are presently under going interrogation and have made useful statements that will aid the police in arresting other members of their gang, including the ones that escaped with bullet wounds.”
The Commissioner of Police commended the operatives for their bravery.
He also expressed his appreciation to the residents and citizens of the state for their support, while urging them to continue to assist the police with credible information.