Police Raid IPOB/ESN Camp In Imo, Recover IEDs

A map of Imo State in south-east Nigeria.

 

The Imo State Police Command on Saturday said it has discovered an IPOB/ESN terror camp and recovered several Improved Explosive Device (IED), arms and ammunition, and vehicles.

Police spokesperson Michael Abattam revealed this in a statement obtained by Channels Television.

IPOB/ESN, a group proscribed by the Federal Government and designated as terrorists, is seeking secession of the Eastern region from Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Abduct Bayelsa Commissioner, Federal Otokito

“Sequel to the mandate of the Commissioner of Police, CP Rabiu Hussaini psc, to raid all major criminal enclaves identified in the state to neutralise all crimes and criminalites with sole aim to sustain the already improved security situation in the state,” the police statement said.

“Following a credible information that, some members of the proscribed IPOB/ ESN terror group, its militia wing has made a forest at Onicha in Ezinihitte Mbaise LGA of Imo State, their operational base where they go out to perpetrate heinous crimes which includes terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery and killing of innocent citizens .

“Based on this information, the ever combat ready Imo Command’s tactical teams, having carried diligent surveillance of the criminal hideouts , on 18/1/2022 at about 1300 hours , stormed the deadly terror camp . The hoodlums on sighting the police operatives open fire on them. The gallant and battle ready Police operatives swiftly returned the fire. In the fierce gun battle, one of the hoodlums was neutralised while others scampered into the adjoining bushes fatally injured with gunshot injuries .

“On combing the bush and searching the terror camp the following exhibits were recovered:

i. One AK47 rifle with Forty (40) rounds of live ammunition.
ii. Ten locally fabricated explosives devices
iii. One Police hand grenade
iv. Two Toyota Highlander (SUV) Jeeps without registration numbers.
v. One Lexus 350 SUV without registration number.
vi. One Lexus 330 SUV without registration number.
vii. Two Biafran flags
viii. different assorted Charms
ix. Assorted dresses suspected to belong to kidnapped/robbed victims.

“Meanwhile, the command is using this medium to appeal to the good people of Imo state, not to allow criminals to use their community as safe heaven to perpetrate heinous crimes. They should form vigilante groups/ neighbourhoods watch association to compliment the efforts of the police and other security agencies. And that , they should report any suspicious persons seen with bullet wounds to the nearest police station or call the command’s emergency numbers 08034773600 or 08098880197 .

“Finally, the Commissioner of Police Imo State, CP Rabiu Hussaini, psc while commending the officers and men for their dedication and gallantry, thanked Imolites for their unalloyed support and assured them of the commands commitment in ensuring a crime-free Imo state.”

Nwosu’s Arrest: The Mystery Of ‘Unknown Gunmen’ In Imo Is Now Unravelling – Okorocha

 

Former Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha on Tuesday suggested that elements described as ‘unknown gunmen’ in Imo State may soon be revealed after the arrest of Uche Nwosu.

Okorocha, a serving Senator at the National Assembly, made the comment while speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

According to him, Nwosu’s arrest at a church on Sunday gave a glimpse into how the Imo State government carries out criminal acts with policemen attached to Government House.

READ ALSO: CAN Apologises To Anglican Church, Condemns Police Invasion

The Imo State Government has said Mr. Nwosu’s arrest was part of an independent police investigation and that Mr. Okorocha was attempting to politicise the issue.

Mr. Nwosu, who has since been released by the police, was a candidate in the Imo gubernatorial election of 2019.

In a press conference on Tuesday, he said his arrest was politically motivated.

The police are yet to publicly comment on the matter.

What Okorocha Said

“What is happening in Imo state is unfortunate. And not just Imo, but the entire nation and humanity. Imo State is becoming a banana republic, where there is complete lawlessness and where people live in fear. There is no day that somebody is not being killed, harassed.

“It appears as if the happenings in Imo state have some backing from Abuja. That’s what I could figure out. And there seems to be enmity between the people here and the presumed federal government of Nigeria just because of a communication gap.

“Most people have been wondering about the mystery of unknown gunmen. But it appears to me now that unknown gunmen have finally been unraveled with the recent happenings.

“Unknown gunmen now is a set of policemen from Government House who, without the consent of the Commissioner of Police, the Inspector General of Police, or the DIGs, but on their own on the instruction of the government of Imo State, led by Hope Uzodinma, and his CSO, Shaba, who give directives to arrest people at will and lock up people at will and sometimes the whereabouts of these people are unknown. They get policemen from the Government House and go to execute unholy acts. And when they run into problems, they quickly say it is the police.”

Uzodinma Commends Security Agencies For Arresting ‘Cannibals’

 

Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma on Monday commended security agencies for arresting about 30 suspected kidnappers who he described as ‘cannibals’.

The arrests were made by a combined team of security operatives after two traditional rulers were kidnapped in Imo state on Sunday.

According to Uzodinma, the arrests were a sign the new strategy for combating insecurity in the state was working.

READ ALSO: 30 Suspected Kidnappers Arrested As Imo Traditional Ruler Rescued

“I want to commend the security agencies in Imo State, the DSS, the army, the navy, the police, the civil defense, all of them, for putting their heads together and making sure that, at least, Imo people come home to celebrate Christmas,” the Governor said.

“It has been been a great thing of worry, wondering how entire local governments like Orsu local government would be abandoned in the hands of criminals and cannibals.

“From what we have seen, you will agree with me that these are criminals and bandits who have no future, no plan, who are killing human beings and roasting human beings, eating human beings, cannibals. How else are we supposed to treat these kinds of idiots, if not to ensure that the law takes its course.

“Often times we discuss our strategies and before they will be implemented, it is foiled by the group. Because of mutual suspicion, we have agreed to only discuss at the end of every operation.

“I don’t want to encourage security agencies to tell anybody how they intend to continue this fight. But I know the new strategy is working and my government will give them every support they need to ensure that there is peace in Imo State and then Imo people will be better off for it.”

30 Suspected Kidnappers Arrested, Imo Traditional Ruler Rescued

 

Some 30 suspected kidnappers and criminals have been arrested in Imo state, Channels Television can report.

The criminals were arrested during a Monday raid, by a joint security team, on camps in Orsu local government and Uli community in Ihiala local government area of Anambra state.

A traditional ruler who was kidnapped in Okigwe local government area on Sunday, Acho Ndukwe of Ihube autonomous community, was also released during the raid.

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Meanwhile, the whereabouts of the other kidnapped traditional ruler of Ihitte Ihube autonomous community, Paul Ogbu, have not been made known.

The gunmen were said to have invaded the palaces at about 12am on Sunday, abducted both monarchs, and set their palaces ablaze.

The incident happened 48 hours after a traditional ruler in Atta autonomous community in Njaba local government area, also of Imo State, was abducted and murdered.

The traditional ruler of Mbutu community who was kidnapped last week was rescued by the police unhurt on Saturday.

Kidnapping is rife in parts of Imo State and the South-East.

Authorities have blamed the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its Eastern Security Network (ESN) members for much of the violent crimes in the region.

Uzodinma reacts

Reacting to Monday’s arrests, Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma commended security agencies for their work.

According to Uzodinma, the arrests were a sign the new strategy for combating insecurity in the state was working.

“I want to commend the security agencies in Imo State, the DSS, the army, the navy, the police, the civil defense, all of them, for putting their heads together and making sure that, at least, Imo people come home to celebrate Christmas,” the Governor said.

“It has been been a great thing of worry, wondering how entire local governments like Orsu local government would be abandoned in the hands of criminals and cannibals.

“From what we have seen, you will agree with me that these are criminals and bandits who have no future, no plan, who are killing human beings and roasting human beings, eating human beings, cannibals. How else are we supposed to treat these kinds of idiots, if not to ensure that the law takes its course.

“Oftentimes we discuss our strategies and before they will be implemented, it is foiled by the group. Because of mutual suspicion, we have agreed to only discuss at the end of every operation.

“I don’t want to encourage security agencies to tell anybody how they intend to continue this fight. But I know the new strategy is working and my government will give them every support they need to ensure that there is peace in Imo State and then Imo people will be better off for it.”

Gunmen Murder Traditional Ruler, Four Others In Imo

Map of Imo State

 

Gunmen have murdered Edwin Azike, the traditional ruler of Atta ancient kingdom in the Njaba Local Government Area of Imo State.

The Imo State Police confirmed the incident on Friday.

According to the Police Public Relations Officer, Mike Abatam, Azike had been abducted on Thursday night.

His lifeless body was later identified and recovered inside his vehicle along the road leading to the market square in the community on Friday morning.

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Meanwhile, eyewitnesses also told Channels Television that four other people were killed in the community.

The PPRO said the Commissioner of Police Rabiu Hussaini has directed all the tactical teams to swing into action immediately and go after the perpetrators.

The incident comes less than 24 hours after another traditional ruler in Mbutu ancient kingdom of Aboh Mbaise Local government area of the state Damian Nwaigwe, was abducted from his palace.

Two Killed As Troops Disperse IPOB Arsonists In Imo – Army

Map of Imo state

 

The Nigerian Army has explained how a soldier and an IPOB member were killed during a gun battle in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State where troops dispersed some IPOB members who were setting properties of residents ablaze.

According to a statement signed on Tuesday by Major Abubakar Abdullahi, the Acting Deputy Director Army Public Relations 82 Division Nigerian Army, the IPOB members set ablaze properties of innocent residents to compel them to comply with the sit-at-home order.

“Troops conducting Exercise Golden Dawn have dispersed IPOB/ESN hoodlums carrying out arson while enforcing the illegitimate Sit-at-Home order imposed by the proscribed group at Awo-Mmamma Community, Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State on 22 November 2021.

“In the quest to compel citizens to comply with the unlawful order, IPOB/ESN criminals indulged in harassment, intimidation, and physical abuse of commuters going about their lawful businesses. The criminals went further to carry out arson and destruction of businesses and homes at Ishieke junction (along Owerri-Onitsha expressway) as a vendetta against the citizens for not complying with the illegal order.

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“The hoodlums who had earlier blocked the highway, set ablaze a commercial vehicle heading towards Onitsha. Vigilant troops responding to distress calls by motorists and shop owners swiftly moved to the scene and engaged the hoodlums in a firefight. The troops overwhelmed the hoodlums forcing them to scamper in different directions.

“The troops pursued the hoodlums to their hideout in Akatta Community in Oru East LGA, where a member of the group was neutralized in the shootout. While the troops engaged the hoodlums in their hideout, other members of the group who alleged that some individuals had volunteered information to the troops mustered at Ishieke junction and set ablaze houses and businesses of law-abiding citizens.

“The troops again returned to the junction to disperse the hoodlums. Unfortunately, a gallant soldier paid the supreme prize in defence of the people,” the statement by the Nigerian Army read in part.

The military added that there has been an upsurge in criminalities such as kidnapping, carjacking, robbery, unwarranted killing, and arson in Imo State since April 5, 2021, when some unscrupulous elements invaded the Custodial Centre in Owerri and freed more than 1,800 inmates.

“Even in the face of unwholesome propaganda by IPOB/ESN, other criminal elements and their collaborators to misinform and mislead Nigerians on the truth regarding the arson at Awo-Mmamma, the NA will continue to remain professional,” the statement added.

The Nigerian Army, therefore, appealed to residents of Imo State to ignore all propaganda and threats and go about their legitimate business.

Former Imo Deputy Governor’s Father Kidnapped

Map of Imo state

 

The father of former Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prince Eze Madumere, has been kidnapped by gunmen at Iho Community in Ikeduru Local Government Area of the state.

The 89-year-old traditional ruler of Ezi – Mbieri Autonomous Community in Mbaitoli Local Government Area was reportedly abducted by gunmen after sporadic shootings on Friday morning.

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Prince Eze Madumere confirmed the incident to Channels Television and also disclosed that his father’s abductors have contacted the family.

Meanwhile, the Imo State Police Command says it’s already commenced work to apprehend the suspects.

Lawmakers Impeach Imo State House Of Assembly Speaker 

A file photo of the Imo State House of Assembly complex in Owerri, the state capital.

 

Lawmakers in the Imo State House of Assembly have impeached the Speaker,  Paul Emeziem.

He was impeached on Monday during a plenary session at the State House of Assembly in Owerri, the Imo State capital by 19 lawmakers.

The 19 lawmakers out of the total 27 lawmakers signed a letter which was read on the floor of the house.

Ex-Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly, Paul Emeziem

 

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According to the lawmakers, the Speaker was impeached on allegations of gross misconduct, forgery, abuse of office, and high-handedness.

The member representing Obowo constituency, Kennedy Ibe, has been elected as the new Speaker of the House.

The newly elected Speaker, Kennedy Ibe.

 

Last year November, the lawmakers, in the same manner, impeached the then Speaker, Chiji Collins.

Collins was removed from office by 19 out of the 27 members of the House.

He was impeached over allegations of financial impropriety, high-handedness, and gross misconduct, among others.

Paul Emeziem, a member representing Onuimo Local Government Area was immediately elected as then as the new Speaker of the House.

UPDATED: At Least Two Killed As Gunmen Open Fire At Traditional Rulers Meeting In Imo

Imo State is located in the southeast region of Nigeria.
Imo State is located in the southeast region of Nigeria.

 

No fewer than two traditional rulers have been killed during an attack by gunmen at Nnenasa community Headquarters of Njaba local government area of Imo State.

According to sources, the traditional rulers from the area numbering over 20 were in a meeting at the local government headquarters in the community when gunmen invaded the the place and interrupted the meeting with sporadic gunshots.

Sources earlier informed Channels Television that five of the traditional rulers had been killed but when contacted, the Imo state police public relations officer, Mike Abatam, confirmed that only two traditional rulers had died while three others were in a coma.

READ ALSO: Go After Criminal Elements In Imo State, Uzodinma Charges Troops

The murdered traditional rulers include the Obi II of Okwudor, Eze Anayo Durueburoe and the ruler of Ihebineoweri, Okwudor, Eze Samson Osunwa.

Those who sustained heavy gunshots injuries were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma, speaking to Channels Television, condemned the killings and commiserated with the affected families.

He promised to bring the perpetrators to book and urged Imo indigenes to remain calm as the state government is on top of the situation.

The attack is the latest in a series of violent crimes being perpetuated across the South-East.

On Sunday, gunmen attacked a police divisional headquarters in Ebonyi State, killing a police offer and burning two patrol vehicles.

The recent rise in violent crimes in the region has been attributed to a myriad of reasons including secessionist angst.

Go After Criminal Elements In Imo State, Uzodinma Charges Troops

Governor Hope Uzodinma speaking during the event.

 

Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma has called on the Nigerian Army troops to target criminal elements in the state and ensure they are brought to justice.

Governor Uzodinma stated this while flagging-off exercise ‘Golden Dawn’ At 34 Artillery Brigade Forward Operation Base at Orlu, Imo State on Wednesday..

The governor noted that the Army, its sister services and other security agencies must continue to consolidate on the gains so far made in curbing the activities of criminals who are hell bent on causing pain and hardship on the people.

Imo State Governor inspecting a guard of honour during the launch of military exercise in Owerri on October 6, 2021.

 

According to him, exercises such as this will greatly destabilize and end the activities of hoodlums, kidnappers, cultists among other criminal elements.

He assured that the state will continue to support the Army, sister services and other security agencies who strive to ensure that there is peace in Imo.

READ ALSO: [Insecurity]Army Launches Exercises In South-East, Three Other Regions

Imo State has in recent months seen a spike in crimes.

 

Uzodinma commended the Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya, the Commander 34 Artillery Brigade and his officers and soldiers for their sacrifices in ensuring a peaceful Imo.

The Imo leader says his government will support the Army in fishing out criminals in the state.

 

Earlier in his welcome address, the Commander 34 Artillery Brigade, Brigadier General Raymond Utsaha explained that the ‘Golden Dawn’ is a Nigerian Army exercise aimed at emplacing measures to curb the activities of criminal elements during and after the Yuletide season to guarantee public safety and continuity of socio-economic activities.

The Commander 34 Artillery Brigade, Brigadier General Raymond Utsaha

 

The exercise is also geared towards consolidating the ongoing operations against proscribed groups within Imo State in particular and the South East in general.

240 Inmates Escape As Gunmen Attack Kogi Prison

A screengrab taken on September 13, 2021, shows security operatives at the Medium Security Custodial Centre (MSCC) in Kabba, Kogi State.

 

At least 240 inmates have escaped the Medium Security Custodial Centre (MSCC) in Kabba, Kogi State, following an attack by yet to be identified gunmen.

The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) spokesman, Mr Francis Enobore confirmed the incident in a communique on Monday, stating that the attack took place at about midnight on Sunday.

According to him, the attackers in their numbers arrived at the custodial centre heavily armed and immediately engaged the guards in a fierce gun battle.

Mr Enobore further disclosed that the ComptrollerGeneral, Haliru Nababa has ordered a recapture procedure to be activated immediately and detailed investigation carried out even as he leads a team to assess the situation.

The Comptroller-General also appealed to the general public to furnish security operatives with useful intelligence that will assist in recapturing the escapees.

 Kabba MSCC was established in 2008 with a capacity of 200.

As of the time of the invasion, 294 inmates were in custody out of which 224 were pre-trial detainees and 70 convicted inmates.

A screengrab taken on September 13, 2021, shows an armed security operative at the entrance of the Medium Security Custodial Centre (MSCC) in Kabba, Kogi State.

 

READ ALSO: Kidnapped Zamfara Students Regain Freedom

The latest jailbreak comes a few months after gunmen attacked the Nigerian Correctional Service and the police headquarters in Imo State, freeing 1,844 inmates, after which the hoodlums set the facilities ablaze.

The gunmen also razed the Imo State Police Command headquarters and burnt almost all the vehicles parked at the command’s headquarters. No fewer than 50 cars were set ablaze in the process.

A similar attack was carried out at the correctional centre in Ubiaja, Edo State; however, the jailbreak was foiled by officers at the facility.

The inmates, after breaking out from their cells, engaged the correctional officers in a fight, leaving some of the security personnel injured.

It took a combined effort by officers from the Nigerian Army, 4th brigade, and the Edo Command of the Nigeria Police Force, to eventually overpower the inmates and return them to their cells.

NAPTIP Arrests Suspected Trafficker, Rescues Two Sisters

Imo State is located in the southeast region of Nigeria.
Imo State is located in the southeast region of Nigeria.

 

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has arrested a suspected human trafficker in Imo State and rescued two persons.

NAPTIP identified the suspect as Emmanuel Abatalam, a 24-year-old native of Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State.

While parading the suspect at the NAPTIP office in Owerri, the state commander of the agency, Ernest Ogbu said the agency had been on the trail of the suspect for over one month.

He said following intelligence information, the suspect was arrested after a failed mission to traffic two biological sisters to Libya.

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“About a month and [a] few weeks ago, I got an intelligence report from the Director Headquarters of NAPTIP in Abuja that a man by name – Emmanuel Abatalam – has recruited and moved some girls out of the country,” he said.

“I looked into it and I was asked that currently, just within that week in question, he has recruited two girls and has moved them to Abuja enroute Libya. 

“According to him, the suspect is in Turkey, the madam that wants to make use of the girls [is also] in Turkey but I discovered that the prime suspect is in Libya not even Turkey.”

He said luck however ran against them when the girls suspected foul play as the man they were handed over to in Abuja attempted to take them by road to Sokoto State enroute Libya instead of the earlier plan to go to the airport to board airplane to Turkey.

He warned that those involved in human trafficking should desist from it as the agency will continue to pursue her mandate.