By Taiwo Okanlawon
Five people suspected to be members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have been arrested in Isu Local Government Area of Imo State.
According to a statement issued by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Orlando Ikeokwu, in Owerri on Saturday, the suspects were arrested for the alleged killing of a police sergeant, Mr Joseph Nwaka.
Ikeokwu said that the suspects were arrested in Isu Local Government Area (LGA) between Thursday, May 13, and Friday, May 14, by the Anti-Kidnapping Unit and other tactical teams of the command after a gun battle.
He also said that an AK 47 rifle with breech no 56-258115 belonging to Nwaka and 15 Rounds of live ammunition were recovered from the suspects.
Other items recovered were four locally fabricated weapons, six live cartridges, and a large quantity of weeds suspected to be Indian hemp.
Nwaka who, until his recent death, was attached to the Command’s Department of Operations, was killed by the suspects who made away with his AK 47 rifle.
According to the police PRO, one of the suspects, Onyekachi Mmadufor, of Umudurukwe, Isu LGA confessed to being a member of the IPOB who, along with his cohorts carried out attacks and killings of police and other security personnel.
Ikeokwu said the suspects were arrested as a result of the crime prevention and control strategies adopted by the Imo Police Command under the leadership of Commissioner of Police (CP) Abutu Yaro, to rid the state of activities of the proscribed IPOB and other criminal elements.
“On May 14, the CP deployed Anti-Kidnapping unit and other tactical teams of the command to Amanato Isu LGA for the arrest of members of the IPOB but the hoodlums engaged them in a heavy gun duel.
“The operatives successfully repelled and dislodged them leading to the immediate arrest of five suspects while others escaped with possible gunshot wounds.
“Discreet investigation is in progress with a view to effecting further arrests, after which they will be charged to court for prosecution,” he said.
He further said that the CP commended the operatives for “a job well done” and enjoined them to sustain the tempo so as to ensure lasting security and safety of Imo residents and Nigerians at large.
He, however, urged the general public to support the Police and the state government in their efforts to ensure the peace and tranquillity of the state.