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34 IPOB members arrested for allegedly killing a police officer

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THE Anambra State police command has arrested 34 suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) over the killing of a police Inspector in Nnewi, Anambra State.

Nnewi is a commercial city in Anambra State, popular for the sales of Motorcycles and Motorcycle spare parts.

The Force Public Relations Officer in the state, Haruna Mohammed, made this known in a statement on Saturday, adding that the suspects also torched a police patrol van as well as wounded some other police officers, including a Divisional Police Officer (DPO).

The incident occurred on Friday, November 23, when a team of policemen, led by the Police Area Commander in Nnewi, Nnanna Ama, and acting on an intelligence report that some IPOB members were gathering around the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, went to prevent the group from causing a breakdown of law and order.

According to Mohammed, on sighting the team of policemen, the IPOB members attacked them violently with machetes and stones and set one of their patrol vehicles ablaze. Several police officers sustained various degrees of injuries during the attack.

“They marched towards the Agbaedo Market shouting, ‘No Elections without a referendum,” Mohammed said.

The injured personnel were rushed to the hospital for medical attention; where the Inspector was certified dead by a medical doctor while the DPO and the ASP are currently receiving treatment, he said.

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Mohammed, however, added that anti-riot Police Mobile Force ( PMF ), Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), Explosive and Ordnance Department (EOD), Special Anti-Cult Unit Personnel, as well as conventional police have been deployed to Nnewi and environs and peace has been restored.

Also, a police joint team have begun search operations for the recovery of two AK47 rifles and one Beretta Pistol with ammunition snatched from the slain and injured police officers, while efforts were on to arrest other fleeing members of the group and bring them to justice.

While urging members of the public to go about their lawful businesses, Mohammed reiterated that IPOB remains a proscribed organisation and its activities are still unlawful.

The IPOB is a secessionist group that is clamouring for the independence of Biafra in the South Eastern region of Nigeria. The group is led by Nnamdi Kanu, who is currently standing terrorism and treason charges before the federal high court in Abuja. Kanu has since jumped bail and his whereabouts remain unknown.

A court in Abuja declared the IPOB as an unlawful group in January this year following an application filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, on the grounds that the group’s activities have been outlawed by the Terrorism Act.

(NAN)

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