Police in Imo State shot dead a suspected member of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Eastern Security Network (ESN) during a gun battle in a forest in Onicha, Ezinihitte Mbaise local government area of the state at the weekend.
They also said they had discovered an IPOB/ESN terror camp and recovered improvised explosive devices, arms and ammunitions in the state.
In a statement yesterday, the command’s spokesman, CSP. Michael Abattam, said the hoodlums, on sighting the police operatives, opened fire on them. One of the hoodlums was killed while others scampered into the adjoining bush with gunshot wounds.
The release stated; “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 from 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 out 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 included one AK-47 rifle with 40 rounds of live ammunition, 10 locally-fabricated explosives devices, one police hand grenade and two Toyota Highlander SUVs without registration numbers.
Others included one Lexus RX350 SUV without registration number, one Lexus RX330 SUV without registration number, two Biafran flags, different assorted charms and 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 and neighbourhood watch associations to complement the efforts of the police and other security agencies, adding that they should report any suspicious person 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 people of the state for their unalloyed support and assured them of the command’s commitment to ensuring a crime-free state.