Magnus Eze, Enugu and Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
Not fewer than 143 suspected members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) have been arrested in Enugu State ahead of May 30 sit-at-home order by the group.
Unofficial military source said the suspects were apprehended on Wednesday, following a tip-off that they were mobilising for the enforcement of the sit-at-home order. It could not be confirmed where the suspects were going to, but, Daily Sun learnt that the arrest took place at the Nike-Opi Nsukka axis of the state.
Meanwhile, IPOB has urged Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to ensure the safety of their members in custody of the military.
IPOB’s Director of Media and Publicity, Emma Powerful, in a statement, raised the alarm about their safety and accused the army of torturing them for no just cause.
“We are placing all diplomatic missions to Nigeria, especially the United States, European Union and African Union, on notice with regards to their obligation to report the level of unimaginable atrocity by the Nigerian government against Biafrans. We are also holding Governor Ugwuanyi personally responsible as the chief security officer of Enugu State for this brazen and illegal attempt to execute dozens of innocent people for no apparent reason,” he said.
In a related development, Anambra State police command said it has arrested 24 suspected members of the Biafran Independent Movement (BIM) and IPOB for allegedly hoisting Biafran flags in some places in the state.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Haruna Mohammed, in a statement said 122 Biafran flags were confiscated.
“There was a report that Biafra Independent Movement and Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (BIM/MASSOB) came out in large numbers moving around with dangerous weapons and at the same time hoisting flags of the proscribed group on poles and billboards along Asaba-Onitsha Expressway in Onitsha.
“Following the report, police operatives rushed to the scene to prevent them from mounting the flags, but they engaged the police with catapults and stones.
“However, 12 suspects were arrested and over 50 flags with different inscriptions of IPOB/MASSOB and BIM were recovered as exhibits. Consequently, on May 22, at about 7am, there was another intelligence report that some misguided elements suspected to be IPOB members were sighted at various locations, mounting Biafran flags along Ekwulobia-Uga Road in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.
“Police patrol teams pursued them and arrested 12 suspects, while others escaped. Exhibits recovered included 72 Biafran flags and items with Biafran inscriptions. The case is still under investigation.”