By Nwanosike Onu, Awka; Precious Igbonwelundu, Lagos; Chris Njoku, Owerri; Emma Elekwa, Onitsha and Elo Edremoda, Warri
Security agents yesterday foiled an attempt to attack the Imo State Police Command headquarters.
They killed six of the assailants.
One of them, Joseph Uka Nnachi alias Dragon, was said to be the squad commander of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)/Eastern Security Network (ESN).
The police said he was responsible for over 70 per cent of the killings in the Southeast.
On April 5, gunmen attacked the command headquarters with explosives, destroying several vehicles and freeing over 600 detainees.
Its spokesman, Bala Elkana, said Dragon and his gang were neutralised before they could access the headquarters.
“They made effort to access the police headquarters through Works Layout around Avan Nursery and Primary School but were vehemently repelled.
“They came in a white Hummer bus. Five of the hoodlums were killed during an exchange of fire and others were injured. The Hummer bus is recovered.
“Four Ak47 rifles all belonging to police officers they killed in two police stations, six bombs, 2,000 rounds of AK47 ammunition, seven AK47 magazines and two operational buses, one loaded with explosive were recovered.
“The joint teams of the police and Army gallantly fought and neutralised the IPOB/ESN terrorists after several minutes of fierce gun battle along Works Road, near the Police Headquarters.
“All the charms the notorious killer Joseph Uka Nnachi aka Dragon, native of Ebonyi State and his group were using which they so much believed in have failed them once more,” said the police.
The spokesman told our correspondent that one of the gang members was captured alive and “has made a useful statement”.
Governor Hope Uzodimma said the government was doing everything to ensure that peace returned to Imo.
He spoke while addressing worshippers at the Government House Chapel, Owerri, after service.
“Today (yesterday), the security architecture of government yielded another huge success as the combined efforts of security agencies in the state repelled another attempt on the police headquarters in Owerri.
“It was an attempt by the bandits to release some criminals in police custody, particularly most of those that have confessed to having committed the crimes for which they were arrested and detained,” the governor said.
Commissioner’s houses razed in Imo
Also yesterday, arsonists razed two houses belonging to Imo Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Declan Emelumba.
The incident occurred in his hometown Ubulu-Ihejiofor in Oru West Local Government Area at about 1 am.
Sources said gunshots were heard as villagers ran into the bush.
he assailants were said to have broken down the gate and set the houses ablaze.
Emelumba told our correspondent that the hoodlums stormed his houses heavily armed.
“Between 1 am and 2 am, some people called me from the village that heavily-armed gunmen stormed my compound, broke the gate and set the buildings ablaze.
“My gateman, who was the only person around when the gunmen came, managed to escape unhurt but the bandits had easy access to the buildings and completely burnt down everything,” the commissioner said.
Police station razed in Delta
Gunmen yesterday morning attacked a police station in Ashaka community in Ndokwa East Local Government Area in Delta State with explosives.
The assailants set the station on fire and torched its operational vehicle donated by the community and the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC).
Police spokesman Bright Edafe said the gunmen, numbering about 20, threw improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at the station.
“It is pertinent to state that no life was lost and no arm was taken away. However, the police will not relent in ensuring that law and order are maintained in any community,” he said.
Operatives of the command shot dead six suspected kidnappers during a raid of their hideouts in the state.
The command recovered one AK47 rifle, one pump action gun and one AK47 magazine with 25 live ammunition.
The police said four suspects were arrested along the Bayelsa-Patani section of the East-West Road. Tactical operatives recovered a locally made Barretta pistol from the suspects.
One killed, others abducted in Anambra
Security agencies allegedly stormed the home of Ifeanyi Ejiofor in Oraifite, Ekwusigo Local Government Area.
Ejiofor is IPOB’s lawyer.
Sources said the team of operatives included soldiers, operatives of the Department of Security Services (DSS) and policemen.
One of the Hilux vehicles that conveyed the operatives was set ablaze during the ensuing commotion, but it could not be immediately confirmed who lit the fire.
It was learnt that Ejiofor’s elder brother, driver and two others were abducted.
Ejiofor had earlier raised alarm on social media about the presence of security agents in his home.
It was leant that his assistant died in the commotion as gunshots rang out.
A source said: “We managed to Barr Ifeanyi Ejiofor on phone and he confirmed the attack, saying that soldiers, joined by Police and DSS operatives shot in different directions and were about to break into his main compound.”
The source said there were distressed voices of villagers and neighbours panicking and crying.
Police spokesman, Ikenga Tochukwu, could not confirm the incident.
But a Senior Police Officer, who spoke with our correspondent in confidence, confirmed the incident, saying one person died and one Hilux van burnt.
He said normalcy had been restored, adding that security agents had taken over the area.
IPOB spokesman Emma Powerful said in a statement: “It was around 2.30 am that they surrounded his (Ejiofor’s) country home. Is it an offence for someone to defend IPOB?
“Ejiofor is doing his job as a lawyer. Where in the world would a legal practitioner be harassed because he represents an organisation?”
Powerful alleged that security agents invaded Ejiofor’s home on December 2, 2019, and killed over 10 people.
“Since then, they are still trailing and harassing him. The whole world must hear this,” he said.