The Ebonyi Police Command has arrested dozens of suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)/ Eastern Security Network (ESN) in connection with the attacks on police stations and offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state.
The Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi, Aliyu Garba, paraded the suspect alongside others on Monday at the Police Headquarters in Abakaliki, the state capital.
In a statement on Monday, Garba noted that police operatives acting on credible intelligence burst suspected IPOB/ ESN members numbering 39 at a meeting with a native doctor in the Agubia Ikwo.
Garba explained that in the course of an investigation, the police discovered that the group was responsible for the attacks on some security formations during which some police and military operatives were killed, and their arms were stolen.
He also paraded others involved in the attacks on some of the offices of INEC in the state, as well as suspected armed robbers, car snatchers, among others.
The statement reads: “At about 1830hrs of 23/5/2021, while acting on credible information suspected ESN/ IPOB members were meeting at Agubia Ikwo in the resident of one Ebube Ivom ‘m’ age 31yrs, their suspected ESN/IPOB Sector Commander.
“The said meeting had in attendance a Cross River State-based native doctor (Ezemuo), who was invited to fortify members of the group with marks on different parts of their bodies, as antidotes to bullets in preparation to attack Onueke Divisional Headquarters and INEC office both in Ezza South Local Government Area of the State by 8:30pm of the same day, 23rd May, 2021.
“On the strength of the information, the command swiftly deployed a team of Police Operatives in collaboration with Neighbourhood Watch of Ikwo, in the process thirty-nine (39) male suspects, made up of indigenes of Ebonyi State and two non-indigenes from neighbouring Abia State were arrested and large quantities of juju charms were recovered from them together with living creatures such as Tortoise and hawk.
“Eight (8) of these suspects made useful statements to the Police, while one of them, Elom Daniel ‘m’ age 17 years took Police Operatives to their hideout at Agbaja-Izzi community in Abakaliki Local Government Area of the State, where the owner of the house escaped leaving behind his wife and a child. Upon intensive search of the house/premises, charms, arms and amminmition were recovered.
“Elom Daniel narrated that he specialized in drawing the map of any planned area to be attacked by the group before execution; he further admitted that the meeting at their State Sector commander’s resident was to attack Onueke Divisional Headquarters, INEC office and Ebube-Agu Security Outfit on the date mentioned above.
“Elom further stated that his group was responsible for the attack on the Army checkpoint at Amasiri in Afikpo North Local Government Area on 26th March 2021 where two Army officers were killed and their rifles taken away.
“He also claimed that his group was responsible for the attack on Central Police Station Abakaliki during the #ENDSARS protests, where a Police Inspector and one other were killed, and the inspector’s rifle carted away.
“One of the AK 47 rifles recovered when crossed checked was found to be the same Police Rifle that was stolen by the hoodlums from the late Inspector at the Central Police Station Abakaliki during the said #ENDSARS protests.
“Elom Daniel further narrated that his gang were also responsible for the attack at Onueke Police Station on 8th January 2021 which claimed the lives of three Policemen and the attack on Nigeria Police Force Animal Branch Personnel attached to the Agricultural Quarantine checkpoint, along Donkey Market Ezzangbo in Ohaukwu L.G.A of the State on 23rd March 2021 where two (2) Assault rifles were carted away by the hoodlums. The two rifles are among the recovered rifles.
“In a follow-up investigation, Elom Daniel led the Operatives to another Kingpin hideout who on sighting the Police took to flight, and in an attempt to maim him, was grievously wounded, the suspect was rushed to the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (FETHA) where he gave up the ghost and his remains deposited at the same hospital mortuary for preservation.”