MEN of the Imo State Police Command have arrested two men suspected of being leader of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) the armed wing of the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) at their hideout in Owerri North Local Government Area.
Over recent months, ESN operatives have been accused of causing mayhem across the southeast geo-political zone, attacking police stations, correctional facilities and Independent National Electoral College offices. In response, the federal government has stepped up security in the five states of the southeast, clamping down hard on Ipob and ESN.
According to the Imo State Police Command, the two arrested men were also linked to a terrorists gang known as King of Dragon. Both men were arrested after they engaged the security operatives in a gun duel at their hideout in Emekwukwu, in Owerri North Local Government Area of the state.
Apparently, three days ago, several ESN members, who were planning to plant explosives at a military checkpoint along the Owerri/Orlu road in Imo State were arrested by the police. Abutu Yaro, the Imo State police commissioner, who paraded the suspects earlier today in Owerri the state capital, said other suspects who engaged the operatives in the gun battle, escaped with bullet wounds.
According to Mr Yaro, some items including three locally made pistols, 14 rounds of live cartridges and substances suspected to be hard drugs were recovered from the suspects during the operation. He gave the names of the suspects to include Chibuike Iheukwu, 18, from Inyishi in Ikeduru Local Government Area and Jidechi Akakem, 26, from Umuchoke, Orji in Owerri North Local Government Area.
Mr Yaro said: “Upon interrogation, one of the suspects, Jidechi Akakem, who has been on the police wanted list of Ipob/ ESN members, confessed to being a member of the dreaded terrorist gang of late Joseph Uka Nnachi aka King of Dragon. He admitted being among those that attacked Orji Police Station and have committed several other crimes in the state.”