Army kills suspected IPOB member, arrests Jos jailbreak escapee

The Nigerian Army has killed one suspected member of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra and Eastern Security Network in Imo State.

The army equally said it has nabbed a suspected escapee of the Jos jailbreak, Chimezie Chukwu also known as Bigi during different operations in the South East region of the country.

This was disclosed on Sunday, in a statement by the spokesperson for the Joint Task Force Operation UDO KA II, Jonah Unuakhalu, and shared on the X (formerly Twitter) page of the force.

Unuakhalu stated that the troops of Sector 4, who were on checkpoint duties in Okigwe Local Government Area of the state, tried to arrest the suspected IPOB/ESN member but fled in order to escape arrest which forced the troops to open fire on him thereby leading to his death.

He said, “Troops of Sector 4 deployed at Forward Operational Base in Okigwe, Imo State while on checkpoint duties spotted an identified IPOB/ESN member on a motorcycle. When ordered by the troops to halt and alight from the motorcycle, he took to his heels in order to escape arrest. All efforts to stop him proved abortive forcing the troops to open fire and neutralised the suspect. Items recovered from him are, two live rounds of 7.62mm Special, One ITEL Mobile phone, One small bag containing charms, the sum of Two thousand three hundred naira only and One Qlink motorcycle.”

He disclosed further that in a joint operation with the Department of State Security, troops of Sector 1 of the Joint Task Force in South East, raided a suspected hideout of IPOB/ESN in Ugbakwa Village in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State which led to the arrest of Bigi, a suspected drug peddler who escaped during a jailbreak in Jos.

“Troops of Sector 1 of the Joint Task Force South East Operation UDO KA II on Friday 20 October 2023 in conjunction with the Department of State Security Enugu State Command conducted a raid operation to suspected Indigenous People of Biafra and it’s armed affiliates the Eastern Security Network hideout in Ugbakwa Village in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State.

“During the raid operations, troops apprehended one Mr Chimezie Chukwu AKA Biggi an escapee of Jos Prison Break known to be a drug peddler, gunrunner and also specialized in armed robbery. Items recovered from him include six mobile phones, three mobile phone batteries, one Moniepoint POS and ATM card, two packs of substances suspected to be cannabis and the sum of One Hundred and Seven Thousand, Two Hundred and Eighty Naira only. The suspect and recovered items are in the custody of the DSS for further investigation.”

Unuakhalu also noted that another sector of the army troops raided a suspected IPOB/ESN hideout in Ogbunka in Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State where three vehicles were recovered while the investigation is ongoing to ascertain the owners of the vehicles.

“Additionally, troops of Sector 5 of Operation UDO KA II acting on credible intelligence also conducted raid operations to suspected IPOB/ESN camps at Ogbunka in Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State.

“On arrival, the camp was already abandoned by the terrorist group. However, troops recovered three abandoned Sport Utility Vehicles which are Two Toyota Highlanders and One Mercedes Benz ML 350 efforts are ongoing to identify the owners of the vehicles,” the statement read.

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