The police will soon arraign in court the 34 suspected members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) arrested on Friday at Nnewi, Anambra State, for allegedly killing a police Inspector and injuring others.
The suspects were also alleged to have snatched weapons and burning a patrol vehicle.
Force Police Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, who stated this Sunday while parading the suspects at Anambra State Police Command Awka, said they would be arraigned on completion of investigation under Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act 2013 and other capital offenses such as murder, attempted murder, rioting, malicious damage of government property, looting and stealing.
However, IPOB has denied the allegations of killing, maiming, snatching of AK47 rifles and pistol leveled against it. The Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Emma Powerful, while reacting to the allegations, said that after the peaceful march in Nnewi in commemoration of the reappearance of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, none of its members was arrested as claimed by the police.
Moshood said that exhibits recovered from the suspects included eight motorcycles, five IPOB flags, and five IPOB caps. He said that on November 23, “there was intelligence report that members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), an unlawful terrorist organization, were sighted gathering in their hundreds with dangerous weapons near Teaching Hospital, Owerri Road, Nnewi, about to cause disturbance of public peace and public safety in Nnewi and environs.
“Consequently, police patrol teams led by the Area Commander, Nnewi, ACP Nnanna Oji Ama, mobilized to the scene to prevent them from causing breakdown of law and order and mayhem, and destruction of lives and property.
“The police team, while proceeding to the scene, came under ambush from the IPOB members. In the process, a police Inspector was killed, two other police officers were seriously injured and one police patrol vehicle was set ablaze. The proscribed IPOB members snatched and carted away two AK47 rifles and one Beretta pistol with ammunition. The IPOB members subsequently attacked other innocent people on sight with a machete and other dangerous weapons as they marched towards the Agboedo Market shouting, ‘no election without a referendum’.
“The Divisional Police Officer, Central Police Station (CPS), Nnewi, CSP Babalola Adewunyi, ASP Micheal Duru attached to Area Command, Nnewi and Inspector Akinbami Olaniyi attached to CPS Nnewi sustained serious injuries from the ambush by the prescribed/unlawful IPOB members. The injured police personnel was rushed to the hospital for medical attention where the Inspector later died, while the other police personnel is currently under intensive care in the hospital.”
Powerful said: “After hiding a policeman in the sewer, Anambra State Police Command had the temerity to lie by claiming IPOB killed a police officer when the said officer was hiding inside the gutter. It was the police that raced to the venue of a peaceful march uninvited and, as usual, started shooting and attacking IPOB family members who were on a peaceful rally in commemoration of our leader’s reappearance in Jerusalem.
“The pictures accompanying this brief statement show clearly that the stage-managed fake death of this police officer never occurred. IPOB did not snatch any police rifle of any sort because we are not a violent organization.”