Department of State Services (DSS) has opened up on the killing of seven persons in Imo State, who were alleged to be wedding guests.
In what it termed its clarification yesterday in Owerri, the Imo State capital, on what has been classified as “Awomama Killings”, the DSS said the victims were alleged members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN).
The DSS insisted that the victims killed on Sunday were members of ESN and not guests coming from a wedding ceremony as against earlier reports.
The agency made this known in a statement made available to newsmen when it paraded the suspect at the command in Owerri.
The DSS said the victims fell during a fierce gun battle between a joint security team and the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed affiliate, Eastern Security Network last Sunday.
It said with the assistance of Chinonso Mmerem (aka Network), one of the arrested ESN members, the joint security team carried out the operation in a camp at Awomama and not at a wedding as claimed by the youths.
Part of the statement by the DSS read “Following the arrest of Chinonso Mmerem (aka Network), a member of IPOB militant wing, ESN, a sting operation was conducted by a joint security team on July 17, 2022, to arrest members of the criminal gang terrorizing Awomama and other parts of the state.
“In the course of the operation, the elements opened fire on the security forces which was consequently repelled with superior firepower leading to the neutralization of about seven members of the criminal group in the hideout used as their camp.”
When he was paraded, Mmerem confessed that the victims killed on Sunday were members of ESN at their camp.
His words,” I led the DSS to the ESN camp at Awomama. I was caught a week ago by the security agents. On Sunday, I led them to the camp where they were having a meeting against Monday for the sit-at-home.
“Some of the members were shot, including ‘One Man’ squad who is our leader at Awomama, although he did not die, he escaped with bullet wounds but his phone was retrieved by the DSS,” he said.