By Chinonso Alozie – Owerri
The Imo State Police Command on Saturday said it has uncovered an operational base camp in a forest at Onicha in Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State, allegedly belonging to the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
The State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Micheal Abattam, disclosed this to newsmen in Owerri, while parading some of the items recovered from the IPOB camp.
According to the Police, they were able to make the breakthrough after diligent surveillance was carried out based on the information given to the security operatives from the area.
The Police said the operation which was on the 18 of January 2022 led to the killing of one of the members of the group as well as live ammunition were recovered.
Narrating how the security operatives carried out the operation, police stated: “Sequel to the mandate of the Commissioner of Police, CP Rabiu Hussaini psc, to raid all major criminal enclaves identified in the state to neutralise all crimes and criminality with the sole aim to sustain the already improved security situation in the state.
“Following credible information that some members of 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 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 diligent surveillance of the criminal hideouts, on 18/1/2022 at about 13:00 hours, stormed the deadly terror camp.
“The hoodlums on sighting the police operatives open fire on them. The gallant and battle-ready Police operatives swiftly returned the fire. In the fierce gun battle, one of the hoodlums was neutralised while others scampered into the adjoining bushes fatally injured with gunshot injuries.
“On combing the bush and searching the terror camp the following exhibits were recovered; one AK47 rifle with Forty (40) rounds of live ammunition. Ten locally fabricated explosives devices, One Police hand grenade, Two Toyota Highlander (SUV) Jeeps without registration numbers.”
Also, “One Lexus 350 SUV without a registration number. One Lexus 330 SUV without a registration number., Two Biafran flags, different assorted Charms, Assorted dresses suspected to belong to kidnapped/robbed victims,” Police said.