6th September, 2011
The Navy Finance and Logistics School Base, Owerrinta, Abia State, on Monday paraded 45 suaspected militants, including nine ladies.
The Commandant of the Base, Commodore Christopher Goon, told newsmen that the suspects were apprehended by the Navy covert team on 28 Aug., 2011.
He said that the Navy team intercepted a convoy which was later discovered to be that of the Special Assistant to Imo governor on security in-charge of Okigwe zone being escorted to Aba by persons in Naval uniform.
Goon said the suspects numbering 11, who could not properly identify themselves as naval officers, were arrested together with four rifles.
He said that on interrogation, the suspects claimed to be members of Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, Isiala, Mbano in Imo state.
According to him, he detailed his men to their camp at Isiala Mbano where another 20 of the suspected militants were arrested and one more rifle recovered, while the rest were picked up somewhere in Imo.
He said that the navy released four persons among the suspects arrested.
The commandant noted that the men being trained in the use of arms at Isiala. Mbano, were capable of breaching the peace as they did not have any steady means of livelihood.
He said the suspects would be handed over to the State Security Service(SSS) in Imo for interrogation and possible prosecution.
Goon advised the public to look out for such groups and report them to the appropriate authorities.
He warned all miscreants within and outside the state to look for alternative means of livelihood as their activities would no longer be tolerated.
Goon urged the security outfits in the state to brace up to contemporary security challenges facing the nation in line with the Federal Governmentâ€™s directive.
He said that the base had commenced intensive patrols and covert operations to dislodge threats to security in the area.
The leader of the group, â€œCommodoreâ€ Abraham Inam from Akwa Ibom, and who claimed to reside in Port Harcourt, said he formed the body as a â€œpara-militaryâ€ organisation.
On why he chose Isiala Mbano in Imo state as the headquarters of the group, he said that was where his services were most needed.
Goon expressed worry that the SA on Security to Imo governor could move his men to Abia without his principalâ€™s knowledge.
When contacted, Mr Innocent Okpokoro, the Special Assistant to Governor Rochas Okorocha on Security in-charge of Okigwe zone, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) by phone that he inherited the men as members of vigilante group in Isiala-Mbano.
He said that he did not know that the suspects were fake people even disguised as members of the vigilante group in the area.