Defence & Security

Troops Overpower IPOB/ESN Members, Recover Weapons

By Paul Michael, Defence Editor, Abuja

Troops of 82 Division Nigerian Army in collaboration with Nigerian Police Force (NPF) have reportedly busted members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed wing, Eastern Security Network (ESN), who disrupted the just concluded Local Government Council elections at some polling stations in Nkanu West of Enugu State.

During the operation, 7 AK 47 rifles, 2 Pump Action rifles, 10 rifle Magazines, 8 live cartridges, 74 live rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, one hand grenade, a tipper truck containing 3 corpses among other items were said to have been recovered by the troops.

Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu disclosed this in a statement on Thursday, adding that the items have been handed over to Enugu State Police Command for further action.

“Troops of 82 Division Nigerian Army on Wednesday 23 February 2022 conducted Operations to clear criminal havens, from where members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed wing, Eastern Security Network (ESN) operate at Azia, Orsumoghu, Lilu Forest, Mbosi and Uli in Ihiala and Orsu Local Government Areas of Anambra and Imo States respectively.

“During the clearance operations, troops overpowered and routed the dissidents, who staged an ambush against the gallant troops. The troops then proceeded to clear Lilu Forest, where they were met with resistance from the outlawed group. The criminals were again over ran by the troops who effectively cleared Lilu Forest and the adjoining areas earlier occupied by the dissidents.

“During the clearance operations, the troops uncovered decomposing remains of kidnapped and murdered victims dumped in a deep well by members of the irredentist groups.

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“While conducting the operations, the unrelenting troops encountered and cleared four ambush sites along roads Orsumoghu-Mbosi – Ihiala-Uli, dislodging the irredentists from their criminal havens.

“The gallant troops neutralized one of the criminals, arrested three suspects and recovered one Pump Action Shotgun, two live Cartridges, two mobile phones, one black coloured Toyota Hilux vehicle, a polythene bag containing substances suspected to be Cannabis and the sum of #1,920.

”In a separate operation conducted today 24 February 2022, troops of 82 Division Nigerian Army in collaboration with the Nigerian Police have bursted an IPOB/ESN syndicate that disrupted the just concluded Local Government Council elections at some polling stations in Nkanu West of Enugu State.

“During the intelligence driven operation, carried out around Centenary Estate Obeagu Uno, troops uncovered 7 AK 47 rifles, 2 Pump Action rifles, 10 rifle Magazines, 8 live cartridges, 74 live rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, one hand grenade, a tipper truck containing 3 corpses among other items. The items have been handed over to Enugu State Police Command for further action,” General Nwachukwu.

He added that the Nigerian Army has also reassured the residents of South East Nigeria of their commitment to restore lasting peace in the region.

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