Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 26 November 2018 | 1,766 times
The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, on Sunday asked the on Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Garba Umar, to intensify efforts to recover the two AK 47 rifles and one Beretta Pistol that was snatched from the team of police officers that stormed the Nkwo Market arena, Nnewi, during Friday’s protest by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
The protest, which snowballed into a crisis – according to police report – led to the death of a police Inspector, snatching of some ammunition.
But IPOB in a statement on Saturday denied killing any police officer.
Addressing journalists at the state Command during the parade of 33 suspects arrested during the protest at Nnewi, the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, said the IG also asked the CP to immediately carry out an operation to rout and arrest fleeing suspects of the group who participated in the ambush of the police personnel and bring them to justice.
He said: “Two AK47 rifles and one Beretta Pistol with the ammunition were snatched from the slain Police Inspector and other Police Officers wounded by the proscribed IPOB members.
“The Nigeria Police Force is deeply concerned with the security implications with regards to the renewed hostilities from the proscribed/unlawful Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Anambra State and the new trend of subversive propaganda from the proscribed IPOB members aimed at undermining law and order in the affected State by the group, their associates, sponsors, apologists and sympathisers.
“The Force, therefore, will not tolerate this and will do everything within the ambit of the law to protect the people, ensure that law and order prevails and bring any perpetrator of violence and mayhem on the people or police personnel to justice.
“The Commissioners of Police in the states contiguous to Anambra State and their supervisory Assistant Inspector Generals of Police, their personnel and anti-riot equipment have been placed on red-alert by the Inspector General of Police to ensure utmost safety of lives and properties and deal decisively with any group(s) or individual(s) who attempt or cause disturbance of public peace and public safety in their respective states.”
Moshood said the Force would continue to ensure adequate safety of lives and property of all Nigerians across the country based on international core values and best practices and will also operate within the principles of democratic policing.
The Force PRO vowed that police would not succumb or tolerate criminal activities from any group(s) under any guise to cause disturbance of public peace and unleash mayhem on innocent Nigerians anywhere in the country. He reiterated the force determination in guaranteeing law and order in the state and to bring perpetrators of violence and mayhem on the people or police personnel to justice.
According to him, all the 33 suspects arrested were now in Police custody and would be arraigned in Court on completion of investigation under Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act 2013.
He called on members of the public in Nnewi and other parts of Anambra State to go about their lawful businesses without fear or apprehension as adequate security have been put in place for their safety.
Moshood, however, urged the public to report any suspicions unlawful assembly, attempt or noticed disturbance of the peace in their locality to the Police through the following numbers; 07039194332, 08035078977.
He added: “The Force is hereby informing the public that Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is a proscribed terrorist group and all activities of the group are therefore unlawful, illegal and terrorist act.”
One of the suspects, Evang Sunday Ilonze, who spoke to journalists, denied being part of the group that protested saying that as a preacher of the gospel, he cannot identify with such act.
He said: “I came out from the church and suddenly saw some military officers who immediately arrested me.
“They were shooting and other traders started running away but I refused to join them because I know I’m innocent and also a law-abiding citizen.”
Another suspect, Vincent Okafor, who also claimed innocence of the charges, said he was beaten up by the police before being arrested.
He said: “Those who arrested me for what I didn’t do should remember that there is God who will judge everyone.”
However, most of the suspects denied being involved in the protest.
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