The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Tuesday disowned six alleged offenders who were recently detained by the Anambra police, and insisted that none of its members have ever committed a crime.
The pro-Biafran group claimed that the police coerced criminals into admitting their participation in IPOB in order to appease their paymasters and secure IPOB’s international proscription.
This was the position taken by IPOB in a statement released on Tuesday by its media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, in response to allegations made by the Anambra State Police Command that several offenders recently apprehended were IPOB and Eastern Security Network members.
Echeng Echeng, the commissioner of police in Anambra State, revealed in a statement last Friday that several suspects detained in the state for kidnapping had admitted to police operatives that they were members of IPOB and ESN.
The police and other security personnel, however, should cease associating IPOB members with criminal activity, the group’s spokesman stated in response to the assertion, emphasising that “neither IPOB members nor ESN operatives indulge in criminality.”
The statement reads in part, “We, the global family and movement of IPOB fault the Anambra State Commissioner of Police for linking IPOB and ESN to the criminal activities in Anambra State and other parts of Eastern Nigeria. Nigeria Police’s habit of forcing criminals to confess as being members of IPOB or ESN is absurd and unprofessional.
“We wonder how Nigerian police keep ridiculing themselves by linking the innocent members of IPOB to criminal activities because of their hatred and blackmail agenda against IPOB.
“The Nigerian police’s use of media to blackmail IPOB for crimes they themselves mastermind is crazy. They make their assertions without investigation, it is a mark of cowardice.
“How come those criminals whom Nigeria Police arranged to confess as belonging to IPOB or ESN are never arraigned in court in public? This makes a mockery of the professionalism of the Nigeria Police Force.
“For public information, neither IPOB members nor ESN operatives indulge in criminality. None of those criminals arrested belonged to IPOB, but the Nigeria Police make up their own news to blackmail our peaceful movement.
“On the other hand, it is public knowledge that some of the criminal gangs arrested so far had some serving as police officers or sacked police officers as their members. Nigeria Police is fully aware of the innocence of IPOB, but because of an agenda to blackmail, demonise, and get IPOB internationally proscribed, they run to media and link us with any criminal activities in Biafra Land.”
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