Tactical teams of the Imo State Police Command have allegedly shot dead a member of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and Eastern Security Network, ESN, In a fierce gun battle in a forest in Onicha, Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area of the state.
In a statement on Saturday, January 22, 2022, the command’s spokesman, Michael Abattam, explained that the hoodlums, on sighting the police operatives, opened fire on them. One of the hoodlums was neutralized while others scampered into the adjoining bushes fatally injured with gunshot injuries.
The release said, “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 include 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.”
Items recovered from them on combing the bush and searching the terror camp include one AK-47 rifle with 40 rounds of live ammunition, 10 locally-fabricated explosives devices, one police hand grenade, two Toyota Highlander SUVs without registration numbers.
Others include one Lexus RX350 SUV without registration number, one Lexus RX330 SUV without registration number, two Biafran flags, different assorted charms, assorted dresses suspected to belong to kidnapped/robbed victims.
The command appealed to the people of the state not to allow criminals to use their community as a safe haven to perpetrate heinous crimes.
It urged them to form vigilante groups/neighbourhood watch associations to complement the efforts of the police and other security agencies, adding 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
Commending the officers and men for their dedication and gallantry, the Commissioner of Police Imo State, CP Rabiu Hussaini, thanked Imolites for their unalloyed support and assured them of the command’s commitment to ensuring a crime-free state.