By Jennifer John
Imo State Police Command has paraded 67 members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) who it arrested in collaboration with men of 34 Field Artillery Brigade, Obinze over the unlawful assembly and sundry allegations.
A release by the Imo State Police Command over the incident read as follow:
“On the 9th of August, 2020, at about 0630hrs, Sixty-Seven (67) members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) converged somewhere in Orji, Owerri North Local Government Area and took off to Egbema. At about 0930hrs, operatives of the 34 Field Artillery Brigade, Obinze, while on duty at Mmahu Egbema Check Point, intercepted Sixty-Seven (67) members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and called for reinforcement from the Divisional Police Headquarters, Egbema.
“The operatives of the Division swiftly mobilized to the scene and assisted in the evacuation of the suspects to the Divisional Police Headquarters for further action.
“It was however revealed that the suspects were on their way to a native doctor, one Mr. Cyprian Amadi of Abashieke Egbema, in Ohaji/Egbema LGA, to fortify themselves against bullet penetration. It is believed that the group is planning an attack on security agencies with the aim of snatching weapons.
“The said suspect (Amadi Cyprian) had removed bullets from one of them (IPOB) who had gunshot injuries in the past. It is also noteworthy that the group attacked and snatched two rifles from Police during a violent protest in 2018, of which the rifles were later recovered from a kidnap gang in a robbery operation.
“It will be recalled that this organization (IPOB) has been proscribed by the Federal Government of Nigeria, as such, any such gathering by the group is viewed as unlawful. They will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded”. The police press release concluded.
However, the accused native doctor denied the allegation of planning to fortify the IPOB members. He claimed that he specializes in curing skin cancer, popularly known as Acha ere in the Igbo setting.
Meanwhile, one of the accused who simply identified himself as Ugochukwu concurred to the allegation of going for fortification against incessant security threats from insurgents and herdsmen, but not to attack any security agency.
He accused both the personnel of the army and police of manhandling them and inflicting serious bodily injuries on them, even when they had no weapons or acted violently.
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