The Department of State Security in Imo State on Tuesday said an exchange of fierce gunfire between a joint security team and the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed affiliate, Eastern Security Network (ESN), on Sunday resulted in the death of seven suspected hoodlums.
The DSS authority who pleaded anonymity said with the assistance of Chinonso Mmerem (aka Network), one of the arrested ESN members, the joint security team carried out the operation in a Camp at Awo-omamma and not at a wedding as claimed by the youths.
The Department of State Security disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists while parading the suspect, at the command in Owerri, Imo State capital.
The DSS insisted that the victims killed on Sunday were members of ESN and not guests coming from a wedding ceremony as against earlier reports.
The Imo DSS, “Following the arrest of Chinonso Mmerem (aka Network), a member of IPOB militant wing, ESN, a sting operation was conducted by a joint security team on 17” July 2022, to arrest members of the criminal gang terrorizing Awo-Omama and other parts of the state.
“In course of the operation, the elements opened fire on the security forces which was consequently repelled with superior firepower leading to the neutralization of about seven (7) members of the criminal group in the hideout used as their camp.
“The elements were gathered at the above location planning for the armed enforcement of the illegal Monday sit-at-home order in Awo-Omamma and other parts of the state which informed the operation to neutralize their plan.
“At this juncture, it is pertinent to inform that the elements gathered to plan their nefarious operations and not attend a traditional marriage as being speculated by members of the outlawed group.”
While being paraded Tuesday evening Chinonso Mmerem Mmerem confessed that the victims killed on Sunday were members of ESN killed at their camp.
He said, ” I led the DSS to the ESN camp at Awomama, I was caught a week ago by the security agents. On Sunday I led them to the camp where they were having meetings against Monday for the sit-at-home.
Some of the members were shot, including “One man” squad who is our leader at Awomama, although he did not die, he escaped with bullet wounds but his phone was retrieved by the DSS.