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Suspected ESN members nabbed over killing of policemen, others



Suspected ESN members nabbed over killing of policemen, others

hoodlums suspected to be members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), believed to be the militant wing of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) attacked police officers on patrol in Ngor-Okpala /Mbaise area of Imo State. Four policemen were killed in the attack.  Continue Reading>>>

This, it was gathered, prompted the Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Mohammed Barde to give a marching order to the Anti-Kidnapping Squad of the Command to launch a thorough investigation into the matter as well as find, arrest and bring the culprits to book.

Suspected ESN members nabbed over killing of policemen, others

It was gathered that on April 24, the commander of the squad, Mr Oladimeji Odeyeyiwa, a Superintendent of Police, and his team, after diligent gathering of credible intelligence arrested Matthew Chuwkuma of Mpam Ahaizu, Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State in his hideout at Umuahia, Abia State. The suspect was said to have confessed to being the sector commander of the ESN in Mbaise.  Continue Reading>>>

The suspect, it was gathered, also helped in the arrest of some of the other gang members, including Ojoko Ikechukwu, 53, and Chiaka Charles, 44. They were reportedly arrested in their criminal hideout at Umuokina, Ahaizu Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State while other gang members allegedly escaped.

Odeyeyiwa told the reporter that after searching the suspects and their hideouts, incriminating items were discovered and recovered. Some of these include cut to size AK47 rifles, 190 rounds of live 7.62mm ammunition, two AK 47 magazines, two to size double barrel guns and locally fabricated Beretta pistols.

One of the suspects Chiaka Charles told the reporter: “I am a member of the IPOB/ESN syndicate terrorising the people of Imo and had a recent killing of four police officers and two civilians at Ngor—Okpala. We volunteered crucial information and assisted the police operatives on April 27, 2023 in raiding our second hideout and shrine in Itu, Ezinitte Mbaise Local Government area of Imo State. That led to the arrest of the four other gang members.”

Odeyeyiwa explained further that the suspects engaged the police operatives in a fierce gun battle but were overpowered by the superior firepower of the police. He said that led to the arrest of four more suspects.

“The suspects are Ibe Demian, 50, Iwu Simon, 31, Nwabueze Ahiwe, 47, and the chief priest of the criminal syndicate, Obali Paul, 70. Also, some other suspects escaped with various degrees of bullet injuries.

“After searching their second hideout, which also serves as shrine where they perform fetish rituals, one  AK 47 rifle, three pump action guns, two single barrel locally made pistols and one cut to size gun, 50 rounds of 7.86mm live ammunition, 38 rounds of live cartridges, two AK47 magazines, two locally made explosive devices, one phone, one mobile walkie—talkie, three cow horns painted with Biafran insignia, two Biafran Jewish caps and Jewish flag and a large quantity of weed suspected to be cannabis sativa and other fetish objects were equally recovered,” he stated.

Another suspect, Anthony Iwu also said: “We have been involved in kidnapping victims, and collected millions of naira as ransom from the victims’ families, while the victims were held hostage for many days before we released them. We put ourselves in two groups. Some of us are into killing police officers and army personnel while other gang members rob and kidnap people.

The police commissioner, Barde commended the operatives for a job well done. He said policing is a collective responsibility and appealed to Imo people to join hands with the police and other security agencies in the crusade against terrorism and to report any suspicious activity or persons seen with guns or treating gunshot injuries to the nearest police station.

The suspects will soon be charged to court, he assured.

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