Benjamin Emeoyiri, a commander of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the paramilitary arm of the Indigenous People of Biafra, has confessed to the role he played in the multiple attacks perpetrated in Imo State within the Southeastern region of Nigeria.
According to Punch, Emeoyiri revealed that ESN was behind the attacks on Owerri Correctional Centre, Imo Police Command headquarters, Orlu Police Station and the residential villa of Hope Uzodinma, the Imo State Governor, adding that the group was acting on the order to eliminate all Police and Military checkpoints in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States.
“I am from Uzombe town in Oguta, Imo State. I was in the village in 2019 when one John approached me. He knew I had been looking for a military job without success so he advised me to join IPOB,” he said of his first experience with the secessionist group.
“I was attending IPOB meetings in Orlu every Sunday. I attended the meeting until November 2020 when Mazi Nnamdi Kanu formed the ESN.
“I volunteered to join the ESN and I was trained with many others from different parts of the country in a camp close to the Niger Bridge. Before I went to the camp, I was living in a church in Orlu owned by Nwachukwu. While at the camp, we were given military training and our phones were seized from us.
“After our training, we were given boots and uniforms and asked to go back to our various state commanders. My state commander was the late Ikonso. We were not given any money. When I got back to Imo State, I reported back to the church, which served as one of our camps at that time.
“Then we got an order that there shouldn’t be any police or military checkpoints in the South-East. All the ESN state commanders asked their fighters to comply with the order. I also obeyed the order because I have taken an oath.
“Ikonso, one Engineer Mike and Temple, organised the attack on the Owerri Prison and Imo State Police Command headquarters. We stole 50 police rifles. We were over 100 fighters who went for the operation but on our way back, some soldiers attacked us and many of our fighters were killed.
“We carried out a few other attacks on security formations in Imo and Anambra states before Ikonso was killed in his residence. After his death, we burnt the governor’s house and killed a security man.”
To avenge Ikonso’s death, Emeoyiri further noted that ESN killed several persons, adding that 10 of their abductees were young girls later used to prepare charms to fortify their members.
“We went in 10 vehicles. We tied white and red clothes on our bodies for protection against bullets. We prepared the charms with the heads of 10 young girls,” he said.
“Temple and Mike came up with the suggestion to use the girls for the charms and we abducted them in Imo State. Unfortunately, before we got to the Orlu Police Station, a police armoured vehicle attacked us and killed 12 of our fighters and injured four others.”
Emeoyiri was said to have been arrested by operatives of the inspector-general of police intelligence response team deployed in Imo.
After the re-arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB, Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, had reiterated the government’s commitment towards hunting down IPOB members and their collaborators.
Meanwhile, the Imo State Police Command recently compiled the full names of its officers killed by “unknown gunmen” in the state.
The list contains the details of officers who died in the line of duty between December 24, 2020 and June 3, 2021.
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