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The Rivers State Police Command has disclosed that no fewer than 10 suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and seven fake members of civilian Joint Taskforce in various parts of the state have been apprehended.
The State Commissioner of Police, Okon Effiong, disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Port Harcourt on Friday.
Effiong said the arrests were made when officers raided their hideouts after the command acted on credible intelligence.
He said the suspected IPOB members were arrested in Oyigbo in the outskirts of Port Harcourt, while the arms-bearing fake civilian JTF members were nabbed in Omoku and Ahoada, both in Rivers State.
The CP said, “On December 23, 2022, we received information that some IPOB members have started relocating to Rivers State.
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‘We had to work on that intelligence and we discovered where they stay in an estate in Oyigbo. The building they stay in the estate was raided and ten of them were arrested.
‘Interestingly, four of them arrested were identified as the key players in the burning down of the Oyigbo Police Station during the #EndSARS riot.
‘And one of them has been on the wanted list of the police since February this year.’
Continuing he said, ‘We are still working on them and as we receive information we shall act on it immediately.’
CP Effiong disclosed the fake civilian JTF had gone to the North-East for training in arms handling and had come to Rivers to recruit members when they were arrested.
He said, ‘We just have to be very careful and sensitive. Information was received that a group of persons were training in arms handling.
‘And we discovered that the people had gone for the so-called training from the North-East and had come down to Port Harcourt to recruit people. And they said they were civilian JTF.
‘When their camp was searched eventually about four locally made AK 47 rifles were recovered with some ammunition.
‘The intriguing thing is that we recovered many camouflage uniforms. If anybody saw them they will think they are policemen.
‘In the course of our investigation, we discovered that they had already opened up cells in Ahoada and Omoku.
‘We have gone to Omoku, we have raided those cells and we have arrested seven of them.’
While assuring that the command would ensure that the state remains unsafe for criminal elements, Effiong solicited the support of members of the public to assist the police with relevant information that would aid the arrest of suspects.