The Imo State Police Command has said that five members of IPOB/ESN who masterminded the murder of Sgt. Joseph Nwaka and other security operatives in the state had been arrested by the officers of the Command.
The Command stated that the feat was achieved by the crime prevention and control strategies adopted by the Command under the leadership of CP Abutu Yaro, to rid Imo state of activities of the proscribed IPOB/ESN and other criminal elements.
The Commissioner of Police, Yaro, unveiled this through a statement issued in Owerri by the Police Command Public Relations Officer, Orlando Ikeokwu, on the arrest of one Onyekachi Mmadufor, a native of Umuduruekwe in Isu LGA of the state.
The CP said that on 13th May 2021, the DPO of Isu LGA Police Station arrested the suspect and an AK 47 rifle with breech no 56-258115 with 15 rounds of live ammunition were recovered.
On interrogation according to the CP, the suspect confessed to being a member of IPOB /ESN who conspired with other members of their syndicate to carry out attacks and killings of police personnel and other security operatives in the state.
The murdered Sgt Joseph Nwaka was attached to the Department of Operations of the Command, where his AK 47 rifle was carted away by his killers.
CP Yaro said that as a follow-up, he immediately deployed the Anti-kidnapping Unit and other Tactical teams of the Command to Amanato Isu LGA for the arrest of other gang members but were heavily engaged in a gun duel by the hoodlums.
The operatives, according to him, successfully repelled and dislodged them and as a result of the encounter, five suspects were arrested at the scene, while others escaped with possible gunshot wounds.
In the course of mopping up the scene, four locally fabricated weapons, six live cartridges and a large number of weeds, suspected to be Indian hemp, were recovered.
The CP revealed that a discreet investigation was in progress with a view to effecting further arrest after which the suspects would be charged to court for prosecution.
The Commissioner commended the operatives for the job well done and enjoined them to sustain the tempo to ensure that lasting security and safety was restored in Imo state and beyond.
He further urged the public to support the Police and the state government in their efforts to ensure the peace and tranquillity of the state.