The Imo Police Command has said members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) have beheaded their chief priest identified as Paschal Okeke in the state.
In a statement released on Monday by CSP Michael Abattam, the media adviser to the state Commissioner of Police, CP Abutu Yaro, the victim is a resident of Umudim Ukwu Orji Awomama in Orlu East Local Government Area of the state.
Abattam added that the incident happened on June 25 during a raid on the ESN’s camp by the security agents.
He said that large sums of money were given to the deceased with promises of invisibility for the secessionist members and decimation by the Police troops.
The spokesperson added that the state commissioner of police commended officers and men of the command in the ongoing campaign to decimate armed terrorists who disguise as IPOB/ESN militia.
”They shot him, decimated his remains, excised the head, and burnt the body and his house for the futile efficacy of the charms he had given the group over time and the colossal failure to protect them from Police bullets,” Abattam said.
Meanwhile, the command has arrested four suspected ESN members for attempting to plant explosives at a military checkpoint along Owerri/Orlu road.
In an interview with reporters on Monday, the state Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, the ESN operatives were captured after a fierce gun battle with police officers.
“On 4th July 2021, some members of the prescribed ESN/IPOB Organisation were arrested by security agencies in the state. They were arrested in a futile bid to launch improvised explosives on the Military checkpoint along Owerri Orlu Road.”
“The hoodlums who came in their numbers were however engaged in a gun duel by the joint Security agencies which led to the arrest of the following suspects; Chukwuebuka offorji “Male” Nicholas Ekwelem “Male” Okwelem Paschal “Male” Onyekahi Enerenini “Male.
“However, one of the suspects sustained gunshot injury on his leg in the course of the melee. Meanwhile, operatives of the Command are presently on the trail of the escaping suspects who are strongly believed to have escaped with gunshot injuries. Efforts are in progress to recover the arms of the group as well as other incriminating items.
“The Commissioner of Police Imo State CP Abutu Yaro, FDC, vowed to sustain the operations and arrest of all criminals involved in violent crimes in the state, especially as the Command has embarked on mop-up operations to arrest the remnants of the ESN/IPOB members in the state.”