Five members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), an armed affiliate of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), were neutralised during a police raid on their encampment in Izombe, Imo state.
Four live tortoises, weapons, ammo, army uniforms, police uniforms, and biafran flags are also found by the operatives.
The development was disclosed in a statement released by the spokesperson of the state police command, Michael Abattam.
“The Imo State Police Command’s Tactical Teams on 25/8/2022 at about 1630 hours, after diligent gathering of both technical intelligence and credible information on the clandestine activities of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPO) and its armed affiliate, Eastern Security Network (ESN) in Izombe, mobilized and raided the identified camp newly created by the hoodlums in Izombe community in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State.
“The hoodlums who on sighting the police operatives engaged them in a gun battle but were overwhelmed by the superior fire power of the gallant police operatives who positioned themselves professionally. During the fierce gun battle, the hoodlums suffered a huge casualty which resulted to them retreating, escaping into the bush with various degrees of bullet wounds.
“The operatives after dislodging the hoodlums moved in and conducted a thorough search of the camp where the following items: three (3) English made Pump Action Guns, One Hundred and Eighteen (118) GPMG ammunitions, Fourty One (41) AK 47 live ammunition, Ninteen (19) G3 ammunitions, One (1) cut to size locally made double barrel, one locally made double barrel, Four (4) locally made Pistols, Four (4) locally made explosive devices, military uniforms, police uniforms, Biafra flags, four ESN caps, One (1) pair of Police boot, various types of hard drugs, some police accoutrements, Four (4) live tortoise, large quantities of weeds suspected to be Indian hemp, and pieces of red cloths were recovered to the station.
“After the successful raid, the operatives while leaving the hoodlums’ den were ambushed some distance away, by the hoodlums who engaged them in another gun duel. During the exchange of gun fire, the operatives were able to subdue the hoodlums and in the process Five (5) of them were neutralised. Unfortunately, three (3) police operatives sustained not life threatening injuries and were taken to a government hospital where they were treated.
“The hoodlums realizing they have suffered a heavy defeat went for a reprisal attack in the villages, burning houses belonging to both serving and retired police officers and other security agencies. Furthermore, houses belonging to persons they suspect are informants to security agencies were equally burnt down.
“Meanwhile, the community has been fortified with enough police operatives and other security officers to protect lives and properties while, efforts are on top gear to arrest the fleeing suspects.
“The Commissioner of Police, Imo State Command, CP Mohammed Ahmed Barde, psc(+) commended the officers and men for their gallantry and appealed to the various communities in the State to form vigilante groups to complement the efforts of the police. He further called on the Hunters Association to collaborate with security agencies by giving them information on criminal hideouts observed in the bushes.”