A 26-year-old alleged army deserter, Ebeje Nnamdi, suspected to be the trainer of members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has been arrested by Police in Anambra. Nnamdi was arrested alongside three others for their alleged involvement in armed robbery in Iyi Oji area of Anambra on Wednesday.
The Police Commissioner in the state, Mr Garba Umar, presented the suspects to newsmen on Thursday at the police command headquarters in Amawbia, near Awka. The police also arrested 22 suspected cult members who were allegedly conducting their initiation ceremony in a bush.
“Police equally recovered three empty AK-47 riffles with magazines, one locally made double barrel pistol with two live cartridges, (IPOB) wears, IPOB flags, muffler, criminal charms and ATM cards. “The Army deserter was formally of the 20 Mechanised Battalion, Taraba, in 2014 before he disappeared,’’ Umar said.
The commissioner said Nnamdi became a member of a six-man gang responsible for the attacks and killings of policemen at nipping points, robberies at fuel stations including that of Bukachi filling station, Eziowelle, both in Onitsha on Aug. 31, 2017. Others who were arrested alongside Nnamdi were 26-year-old Onyebuchi Peter Ali and Ugwuokpe Nnaemeka, he said.
Umar said their case was under investigation and that they would be charged to court after investigation. He also said that two members of a four-man gang of kidnappers were arrested, while one was killed in a gun battle with members of the state anti robbery squad (SARS), while the victim was rescued.
He said the alleged kidnapers were said to have abducted one John Ifediorah of Umuganagu village to Iyi Oji shrine, where he was said to have been subjected to torture before the police swooped on them. Those arrested during the raid, he said, were Chukwudi Nwabundo and Obiora Madubueze, while Chinaza Udeezue was killed during the gun battle in the Aguleri bush. The commissioner further said that the 22 cultists were apprehended at their initiation centre at Nnewi when the police teams from the Special Anti-Cultism (SPAC) cordoned off the place.
The commissioner advised the people of the state to always report to the police or other security agencies any suspicious movement for urgent intervention.