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Suspected IPOB/ESN members responsible for traditional rulers’ death in Imo —Police

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The Imo State Police Command has said the two monarchs, who were killed on Tuesday during a stakeholders meeting at Nnenasa, the headquarters of Njaba Local Government Area of the state, were murdered by suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Ripples Nigeria had reported the incident stating that other monarchs escaped the incident with gunshot injuries.

In a statement on Wednesday, the police identified the deceased monarchs as the Obi I of Okwudor, Eze E. A Durueburuo, and Eze Sampson Osunwa of Ihebinowere autonomous community.

According to reports, a source had claimed that men of Operation Search and Flush were deployed to the venue of the meeting with their team leader to provide security but left less than an hour into the meeting.

The source, who claimed that he is from Njaba LGA, said when the police were persuaded to stay until the end of the meeting, they said that they were summoned by their commander.

However, reacting to the development, the state police command denied that any of its personnel was at the venue of the meeting.

The police said: “On 19/10/2021 at about 3 pm, following information received that hoodlums suspected to be members of the proscribed IPOB/ ESN members are attacking the venue where the traditional chairman of Njaba Local Government is holding a meeting with some traditional rulers, the Commissioner of Police, CP Rabiu Hussaini psc, immediately, dispatched the command’s tactical teams comprising of the Special forces, Rapid Response Squad and Anti-kidnapping Squad to the scene.

READ ALSO: Imo police confirm attack on formation, two officers, three suspected ESN members dead

“On their arrival at the scene, they were informed by the police patrol teams patrolling the area, that the hoodlums fled into the bush on sighting them.

“At the scene, it was revealed that the traditional chairman of Njaba Local Government, Hon Emeka Ihenacho, invited and was having a meeting with fifteen traditional rulers of Njaba communities without informing the police or other security agencies.

“While the meeting was in progress, armed bandits suspected to be IPOB/ESN members came and started shooting at them indiscriminately after which they ran back into the bush.

“Unfortunately, two of the traditional rulers namely, HRH Eze S. C Osunwa of Ihebinowere Autonomous Community and HRH Eze Barr A. E Durueburuo of Okwudor Autonomous Community lost their lives in the attack while HRH Eze A. N Onyeka (JP) of Nkume Autonomous Community sustained gunshot injury.

“It is on record that the police station in Njaba was recently attacked and raised down by hoodlums suspected to be IPOB/ ESN terror groups, where two police officers lost their lives.

“Thus, the command had to post Policemen to the area on vehicular patrols to help in checkmating crimes and criminalities pending when a new police station will be rebuilt.”

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