Imo State Police Command has arrested a 50-year-old suspect, Simeon Onigbo, who is allegedly manufacturing bombs for the Eastern Security Network (ESN), a militia of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), in the state.
Suspended IPOB Bomb Manufacturer, Simeon Onigbo
The command spokesperson, Mike Abattem, who disclosed this in a statement on Friday, said the suspect was arrested when police uncovered and raided an IPOB bomb manufacturing camp at Uba Umuaka in Njaba LGA of Imo on Wednesday.
Following his arrest, Onigbo confessed that he used to produce locally-made improvised explosive devices (IEDs) used in attacking police divisions and other government facilities in Imo.
The statement reads, “sequel to the modified and invigorated strategies emplaced by the Command’s management team under the watch of the Commissioner of Police, Imo Command, CP Mohammed Ahmed Barde, psc (+), on the assumption of office, with a view to checkmate violent crimes and criminality in the State.
“In line with Commissioner of Police’s strategy in stemming down crime, the Command’s Tactical Teams, following credible intelligence received on 20/4/2022 at about 1700 hours, revealing the hideout of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB/Eastern Security Network, its militia wing, where they are manufacturing Improvised Explosive Devices used in attacking Police Stations and Government facilities in the state.
“The Police immediately mobilised to the hideout of the terror group located at Uba Umuaka in Njaba Local Government Area of Imo State and raided the camp.
“In the course of the raid, one Simeon Onigbo ‘m’, aged 50 years, was arrested. On the spot interrogation, the suspect admitted to being the manufacturer of most of the Improvised Explosive Devices (I.E.Ds) used in attacking police stations in the State and outside the State.
“On searching the criminals’ hideouts, items recovered include the following: one already prepared Improvised Explosive Device, fifty-eight pieces of Cannon Steel Pipe, two chisels, one hammer one and a half-bag of Potassium Nitrate, thirty pounds weight of Sulphur, fourty pounds weight of dry sand, ten pounds weight of red sand, thirty pounds weight of gun powder, half-bag of charcoal, thirty electronic motorcycle batteries and seven lengths of eight millimeters iron rods.
“Meanwhile, the Command’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit has taken over the recovered bomb for technical analysis and subsequently for possible detonation.
“However, investigation is ongoing, the suspect has made a useful statement and mentioned members of his gangs outside the State who patronize him. Operatives of the Command are not relenting and all efforts are on top gear to arrest the named suspects.
“The Commissioner of Police, Imo Command, CP Mohammed Ahmed Barde, psc(+), who is poised in ensuring that terrorism and other violent crimes are brought to their barest minimum in the state, commended the officers and men for their gallantry and proactiveness.
“He, then, enjoined Imo people to continue to support the police and other security agencies with credible and timely information that will assist the Command tremendously in fighting crimes to a standstill in the State.”
This comes a few weeks after suspected IPOB/ESN members allegedly killed two policemen during an attack with explosives at Isu Divisional Police headquarters in Imo State.