The arrest of 26 individuals enforcing the sit-at-home order, believed to be associated with the banned Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has been announced by the Imo State Police Command.
These individuals, who were taken into custody on Wednesday, have been accused of engaging in indiscriminate shooting and assaulting people who were attending a birthday celebration at a hotel near Irete.
According to the Commissioner of Police for the state, Mohammed Ahmed Barde, law enforcement operatives from the command’s tactical team, in collaboration with the 18 Police Mobile Force, swiftly responded to the situation upon receiving reports from concerned citizens. The reports indicated the presence of IPOB members at a hotel (whose name is being withheld) located at the Catering bus stop, Free Zone, Irete.
Barde said: “Unfortunately, a lifeless body, later identified as Remigius Emeka Njoku, a relative to the celebrant, was seen lying on the floor in his pool of blood. The outlawed IPOB and ESN unlawful sit-at-home enforcers immediately opened fire on sighting police operatives, but they were overwhelmed by the dexterity, stiff resistance, and superior firepower of the police, which forced them to flee to the adjourning bush with various degrees of gunshot injuries.”
He said further: “On combing the hotel and nearby bush, traces of blood were seen, which suggested that some of these terrorists were hit.
“During the search around the hotel, one AK-47 rifle, 48 rounds of live ammunition, four pump-action guns, 18 rounds of live cartridges, two AK-47 magazines, and a face mask were recovered. A total of 26 suspects were arrested; they are still undergoing thorough screening.”
The police boss added that “investigation is ongoing, and certainly the suspects will be arraigned in court upon the conclusion of a diligent investigation.”