The police in Ebonyi state have debunked the claim by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) that officers attacked the outlawed group when they were meeting on Sunday, Concise News reports.
This online news medium gathered that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Kpirikpiri Police Division, CSP John John, was injured in the security operatives’ scuffle with IPOB members.
The clash occurred at Oguzoronweya Primary School in Ebonyi Local Government Area.
It would be recalled that Concise News had reported how IPOB members accused the police of unfairly attacking them while they were holding an inauguration ceremony last weekend.
This led to the arrest of an Abakaliki based legal practitioner, Orogwu Cyril Ndubuisi, and his fiancée, who were accused of being with the illegal IPOB members at the primary school.
Five other IPOB members were arrested.
Police spokesperson in the state, DSP Loveth Odah, said IPOB members started attacking the security agents immediately they sighted them.
The spokesperson added that IPOB members hit the DPO with heavy stones in the head. She further stated that the DPO would have died but was protected by the helmet he was donning and bulletproof.
In her words: “Why are they saying police stormed where they were holding meeting? Are they supposed to hold a meeting in Nigeria when they are declared proscribed?
“In law, there is what is called an unlawful assembly.
“Members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) assembled unlawfully and the information got to us, that was on October 27, 2019 at Oguzoronweya Primary School in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State by 2.50p.m.
“On receiving the information, men of Operation Puff Adder of our command, in collaboration with other security agencies, went to the place.
“We thought that IPOB members were just normal people that gathered together to have unlawful meeting even when they know they are not lawful in Nigeria.
“But yesterday was very different. As soon as police got to the area, to their greatest surprise, Mr. John John, the DPO of Kpirikpiri Division, was seriously attacked.
“If not because he was seriously kitted as a policeman having his helmet on him and his bulletproof, he would have been killed.
“By now, you would have just heard that a Chief Superintendent of Police is dead.
“Their lawyer, who was with the IPOB members, was arrested.
“I talked with him and I was surprised that he denied being their legal adviser.
“He said he was taking their briefs. I don’t know the difference between a legal adviser and somebody who takes a brief for an organisation.
“Many of them ran away but we were able to arrest at least six of them; they are in custody. They are fully dressed in IPOB uniform.”
In similar vein, the banned IPOB, in a statement issued by Emma Powerful, it’s Publicity secretary, claimed security agencies opened fire on them, causing 17 of its members to be injured.
“We the global family of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) find it distasteful that rather than confront rampaging and murderous attitude of the Nigerian army and police who have continued their incessant and unwarranted attacks against the peaceful family of IPOB in Ebonyi State, a combined team of Nigeria Armed Forces invaded the venue of a peaceful IPOB gathering in Ebonyi LGA at 5pm on Sunday 27 October 2019 with more than 50 Hilux vans during an inauguration ceremony and opened fire on defenceless mothers and fathers without warning,’’ the group said.