A joint task force involving the military and police team on Sunday morning killed five suspected gunmen alleged to have attempted an attack on the Imo State Police Command headquarters.
According to the police, one of the six men killed during the attempted attack was identified as Joseph Uka Nnachi, aka Dragon, who was alleged to be the killer-squad commander of the Indigenous People of Biafra’s (IPOB) Eastern Security Network (ESN).
The police said Dragon was responsible for over 70 per cent of the killings in the southeast, noting that about four AK47 rifles, which were conveyed in a bus for the operation before they were repelled, were recovered, while the five other suspects killed alongside Dragon during the operation were his key men.
Meanwhile, a suspect, alleged to be the only survivor in the Sunday attack, Stanley Osinachi, from Mbieri in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo state, was alleged to have said that their funding comes from their supporters abroad, while their charms were prepared by Aguleri native doctors in Anambra State.
Osinachi spoke at the police command in Owerri, where he was paraded alongside the lifeless bodies of his gang members, who were killed in a gun duel with the special forces.
The suspect said, “Dragon recruited me by calling me on phone to join the ESN. I was recruited last three days. Even when I wanted to leave he said he would kill me. Our camp is at Akabo in Ikeduru Local Government Area, which is where we normally operate from and plan for our operation and Dragon told us that part of our plan is to be killing and burning police stations.
“Policemen got me when we came out as early as 4 am to attack Owerri, we were more than seven in number, coming to attack and five of us were killed by the police I am the only person that survived. I want to tell you that in our camp it is only Dragon that wears a military uniform and our charms are prepared at Aguleri in Anambra state. My arrest is in God’s time everything that happens is according to God’s wish”.
Speaking on ESN’s sponsorship, Osinachi said: “It is our people from abroad that send money to us through Dragon, it is Dragon that will go and collect the money and bring it for our feeding and other of our needs.
“Dragon told us to kill police people and collect their guns for us to use it for operation. We even kidnapped a policewoman officer and kept her in our custody so that she will be giving us information”.
Meanwhile, the police had said on Sunday, June 6, at about 0615 hours when Imolites were preparing for Church, the hoodlums attempted an attack on Owerri but was vehemently repelled by a combination of the Army, Police Special Forces, and other supporting security agencies.
“The attackers who came in a white hummer bus wanted to access the Command Headquarters through Works Layout around Alvan Nursery and Primary School Owerri but had a bloody fight with the security forces. They were first Intercepted by the Military at the outer perimeter cordon provided for the Police. Five hoodlums were killed in action (KIA) including Joseph Uka Nnachi alias King of Dragons.
“One suspect Stanley Osinachi ‘m’ 30 years old of Achi/Mberi, Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State was arrested and presently aiding the investigation. He confirmed that Dragon is the leader of the gang in Imo State reporting to their supreme leader Nnamdi Kanu. He stated that they belong to the proscribed IPOB and ESN.
“Four AK 47 Rifles with 2000 rounds of live ammunition and a large number of explosives were recovered from the scene. The Rifles breach numbers were crossed checked and found to be the same Police Rifles that were stolen by the hoodlums from our Police station at Omuma on 31st May 2021 which claimed the lives of four Policemen,” the police said.
Furthermore, the police said other exhibits recovered included: Assualt (AR) Rifle Breach N0: 03018058, Assualt (AR) Rifle Breach N0: 070007055, Assualt (AR) Rifle Breach N0: 5801297, six locally fabricated explosive devices, Police Beret Cap, seven AK47 magazines fully loaded, one military cap, one military cardigan (Polo), one silver-colored minibus with Reg N0: WAM-8673 B AB, and one Hummer Bus with Reg N0: KED-382 X laden with explosive devices.
“The same gang together with their members that were killed in previous operations were responsible for series of attacks in different parts of the State. They are the same people in the viral video that blocked the flyover at Orji and killed three unarmed civilians, including a woman they brought out of their vehicle blindfolded. A Police Inspector sustained gunshot wounds during the exchange of fire this morning and is currently receiving medical attention.
“The Commissioner of Police Imo State Command, CP Abutu Yaro, fdc has commended the gallant effort of the security forces who stood firm and put their lives on the line in this accomplishment and restore sanity to Imo State. The CP used the opportunity to condole with families of Policemen that lost their lives in the hands of these terror gangs over the last few weeks and those that sustained various degrees of injuries.
“They are the real heroes. The Commissioner of Police also extends his gratitude to the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, psc, NPM, fdc for supporting the command with the necessary resources used in combating the deadly gang. The CP also thank the Government and the people of Imo State for their support and undiluted trust in the ability of the Police to restore peace to the State.
“Most importantly, the Commissioner of Police deeply appreciates the Armed Forces and the DSS. The Department of State Services has constantly fed the joint operation with credible intelligence while the Military has consistently provided defence and outer cover to the Police. The synergy amongst all the services is superb and has culminated in the landmark victory recorded today.
“Lastly, the Commissioner of Police is calling on all those in possession of weapons stolen from Security Agencies to return them to the nearest Police Station or Military Installation not later than 12th June 2021, to prevent the long arms of the law catching up with them,” the Police added.
By Victor Uzoho…