The Nigeria Police Force (NPF), in collaboration with the Nigerian Army and Airforce, has arrested 16 Indigenous People of Biafran Movement (IPOB) members with arms and ammunitions.
This was made known in a statement on Sunday by the force.
The suspects were accused of being complicit in a series of violent and unprovoked attacks on security operatives and facilities in some states of the Federation, particularly in the South-Eastern region of Nigeria.
According to the police, the arrest which was a joint effort with the Nigerian Army and Airforce, was to nab persons responsible for several attacks on security operatives and destruction of security facilities and operational assets.
Amongst the suspects were Ugochukwu Samuel a.k.a Biggy, a 28-year-old from Arochukwu LGA in Abia State, Raphael Idang, a 31-year-old native of Odukpani LGA of Cross River state, Cletus Nwachukwu Egole aka ‘Alewa’, a 60-years-old native of Orlu in Imo State; Michael Uba, 33yrs from Imo State.
The twelve other suspects were not identified.
During investigations, the police revealed that the suspects were arrested in various parts of the country during intelligence operations and were implicated in multiple felonies committed across several states in South-Eastern Nigeria.
“Police investigations clearly established and linked the suspects to several incidents of attacks and murder of security personnel as well as stealing, unlawful possession of firearms, arson, and malicious damage to operational assets of military and law enforcement agents.
Specifically, investigations revealed that the duo of Ugochukwu Samuel aka Biggy, and Raphael Idang were among the criminal elements that attacked policemen on duty at a checkpoint on 24th December 2020 along Orlu-Ihiala Road in Imo state where two police officers were killed and a Police Hilux patrol van set ablaze. In addition, both were part of a larger group that attacked a police reconnaissance team on 13th January 2021 killing one police officer.
Ugochukwu Samuel a.k.a Biggy, who sustained a bullet wound during an attack by his gang on a military convoy in which some soldiers were killed and weapons carted away, was subsequently arrested while receiving treatment in a hospital. Both suspects confessed to being active members of IPOB and ESN.
Cletus Nwachukwu Egole aka Alewa, a pastor with the Holy Blessed Trinity Sabbath Church, Orlu, Imo State and Michael Uba, a prophet with the Association of Jewish Faith, who were also arrested, are two of the masterminds of the various attacks on security personnel, in addition to providing spiritual cover for the gang. Cletus Nwachukwu Egole aka Alewa’s house was used by the gang members to plan their nefarious operations. He also donated his late brother’s farmland for use as a hideout and training camp for the gang.”
The Police recovered from them a total of nine (9) AK47 rifles, five (5) other sophisticated firearms, seventeen (17) AK47 Magazines, 549 AK47 live ammunition, 10 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), camouflage bulletproof vests, walkie talkies, and other incriminating items.
Reacting to this, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has reiterated that further attacks on its personnel or citizens by any individual or group will not be tolerated. He also said the suspects will all be charged to court at the conclusion of investigations.