The Nigeria Police Force says it has neutralised one suspected member of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its security arm, Eastern Security Network (ESN) during a raid of their camp.
The Enugu State Police Command of the Force said the body of a missing police officer was exhumed and recovered from the camp.
The Command disclosed this in a statement issued on Tuesday through its spokesman, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, titled: “Sustained onslaught on criminal elements: Enugu police operatives raid suspected IPOB/ESN camp, neutralize 1, recover firearms, ammunition, motor vehicles, motorcycles, other incriminating exhibits and exhume the corpse of missing police officer.”
Ndukwe stated that the raid which was part of the command’s crime-fighting strategies devised by the Commissioner of Police was carried out by its operatives drawn from Tactical Squads and Operation Restore Peace, between August 11 and 12, 2022 in a forest at Agu-Ibeje in Enugu-Ezike community of Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area.
The statement partly read, “The hoodlums, on sighting the operatives, engaged them in a gun duel, which led to the neutralization of one of them while several others escaped with varying degrees of fatal gunshot wounds, due to the superior firepower of the operatives.
“The operation led to the discovery and exhumation from a shallow grave in the camp, the corpse of their male victim identified as Okpanachi Johnson, a Police Officer serving in Igbo-Eze North Police Division of the Command, who had gone missing on 30/07/2022, with all effort made to trace his whereabouts proving abortive.
“Also recovered at the Camp are the following exhibits: twelve (12) firearms, including one AR-K2 Assault, six (6) Pump Action guns, one (1) locally-made Berretta-like pistol and five (5) locally-fabricated double-barreled guns; ninety-eight (98) live cartridges; two (2) Machetes, one (1) Digger, one (1) Battle axe and one (1) Hacksaw; five (5) motor vehicles, including three (3) Toyota Sienna minivans, one (1) Honda Pilot Jeep and one (1) Hiace (Hummer) bus loaded with assorted Ankara fabrics, all reported to have been snatched from their owners at different times within the area by the hoodlums; twenty (20) different brands of motorcycles with their plate numbers removed; one (1) Police bullet-proof vest; one (1) pair of Police Camouflage uniform; one (1) pair of Military camouflage uniform with a cap and Military singlet.
“Others include one (1) piece of red-black-green coloured clothing identified as Biafra flag and another five (5) pieces of masquerade-like attires of the said flag colours; one (1) HP laptop with its bag; twenty-two (22) different brands of mobile phones; six (6) different brands of Mp3 players; one (1) Canon camera, Six (6) torchlights,
“Three (3) rolls of cello tapes; one (1) air pumping machine; one (1) small yellow-coloured generating set; fifteen (15) fabric armless and five (5) plastic chairs; a set of musical equipment, including band set, piano, guitar and speakers, the hoodlums are alleged to have stolen after invading a church in the area; seven (7) school bags; one (1) Camp bed and twenty (21) pieces of tablespoons.”
It added, “In a related development, the Police Operatives, on 08/08/2022 at about 9.15 am, recovered two (2) AK-47 rifles with four (4) all loaded with a total of sixty-four (64) rounds of 7.62mm calibre of live ammunition (currently in the custody of 82 Division of the Nigerian Army Enugu), one (1) locally-made cut-to-size gun, one (1) Dane gun, one (1) Lexus RX 330 and one (1) RX 300 Jeeps, one Honda Pilot Jeep, twenty-five (25) machetes.
“Two (2) axes, one (1) dagger, four (4) phones, a Military camouflage uniform, two (2) Forest uniform trousers and fetish items suspected to be charms. The recovery is sequel to the operatives’ swift response to a distress call alleging that IPOB/ESN hoodlums invaded and set ablaze the house of a local vigilante at Oduma community in Aninri Local Government Area on the said date.
“Meanwhile, the Commissioner, while commending the Operatives for the successful execution of the operations without any casualty recorded by the Command, has charged them to remain focused on actualizing the overall goal of ridding the State of unrepentant criminal elements.
“He further calls on residents of the State to remain law-abiding, vigilant and support the Command with credible information and/or intelligence it requires to combat criminals and their activities. He also enjoins individuals and owners of medical facilities to quickly report anyone sighted with gunshot injuries to the Police.”