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DEFENCE

Troops Destroy IPOB Supreme Headquarters in Imo – Army

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Troops of the Nigerian Army, in cooperation with sister security agencies, have raided and destroyed the supreme headquarters of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) at mother valley, Orsu council area of Imo.

The Force Commander, Joint Task Force South-East, Operation Udo Ka, Maj.

-Gen. Hassan Dada, disclosed this while addressing newsmen at Eke Ututu, Orsu Local Government Area (LGA) of Imo on Friday.

Reports says that the Operation Udo Ka which started on Feb.

11, 2024, involved troops of the Nigerian Army, Navy, Air Force as well as personnel of the Nigerian Police Force, Department of State Services and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.

The Commander said the troops cleared and liberated Ihiteukwa, Eke Ututu and Ihittenansa towns, all in Imo, as well as Orsumoghu and Lilu towns in Ihiala and Ekwusigo LGAs of Anambra.

He said that the headquarters, which served as the last IPOB stronghold, is located in the Mother Valley and spans Orsu and Ihiala LGAs of Imo and Anambra respectively.

“It is about 5,000 feet below sea level,” Dada disclosed.

He added that the well concealed forest location afforded the terrorists good cover from air surveillance and served as their command and control centre and military council headquarters.

He also said that during the raid, the last of which occurred on Thursday, March 7, the gallant troops encountered, detonated and recovered many Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and various types of obstacles which were cleared by the determined troops.

He further said the troops also came in contact with the terrorists, subdued them with superior fire power and neutralized many of them while others with varying degrees of gunshot wounds fled into surrounding bushes.

“In addition to many weapons, equipment, IEDs and stolen vehicles recovered over the last three weeks, items recovered in the Mother Valley include three G3 rifles, nine automatic pump action rifles, seven double barrel guns, two locally-made pistols, two rocket-propelled grenade bombs, two AK 47 magazine and one G3 magazine.

“Others were 26 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 16 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition, 72 Pump Action Cartridges, one chainsaw, one laptop, one CCTV DVR, 26 CCTV cameras, 17 baofeng radios with batteries and 10 without batteries and their chargers.

“Also recovered were six handheld IEDs, 26 android phones, 25 ordinary phones, one inverter, one SIM card registration machine, four POS machines, three motorcycle batteries for igniting IEDs, two trumpets, two Biafra flags, 20 ESN certificates, two diaries containing details of ammunition and food supplies and two pairs of Biafra Liberation Army uniforms.

“The joint troops also destroyed about 50 tents in the valley housing the Supreme Headquarters, IPOB/ESN command and control center, Buteuzor’s hideout and residence, offices, their logistics base, temples and shrines used for occultic practices among many other items,” he said.

Dada commended Imo and Anambra people for their cooperation with security agencies while requesting them to report any strange faces in their communities to the Operation Udo Ka by dialing the emergency line 193 and pressing option 2 from their mobile phones.

He enjoined the leaders of all liberated communities to return to their ancestral homes and deploy community efforts to ensure that all criminal elements who are not from the communities are not allowed to return to desecrate their homelands.

He thanked Gov. Hope Uzodinma of Imo, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, for their support, advice and guidance throughout the operation.

He assured that the troops will continue to provide all security support to affected communities within the ambit of the law.

NAN, however, reports that in what can best be described as a display of civil-military relations, the Force Commander presented gift items, including bags of rice and cartons of noodles, to women of the Eke Ututu market. (NAN)

DEFENCE

Lawmaker Secures Release of 4 Persons Involved in Illegal Arms Manufacturing in Delta

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Sen. Ned Nwoko (PDP-Delta), on Wednesday disclosed that he had secured the release of four family members involved in manufacturing arms at the Onicha-Olona Illegal Arms Factory in Delta.

Nwoko representing Delta North Senatorial District, who disclosed this in an interview with newsmen Abuja, said that the release of the four persons was through collaborative efforts.

NAN recalls that on March 12, troops of 63 Brigade, Asaba, uncovered an illegal arms manufacturing factory in Onicha-Olona, Delta North Senatorial District and arrested eight family members in connection with the crime.

Nwoko disclosed that efforts have been made to ensure fair treatment for those involved, balancing justice with the opportunity for rehabilitation and contribution to society.

“Following my recent visit to the headquarters of 63 Brigade, Asaba and productive discussions with the Brigade Commander, I am pleased to announce progress in addressing the situation regarding the illegal arms factory discovered in the Onicha-Olona community, Delta.

“Efforts have been made to ensure fair treatment for those involved, balancing justice with the opportunity for rehabilitation and contribution to society.

“I am pleased to reveal that through collaborative efforts, I have successfully secured the release of four family members implicated in the illegal activity.

“However, our commitment to upholding the law remains unwavering, and endeavors continue for fair judgment and potential pardon for the remaining four individuals,” he said.

The lawmaker stressed that the underlying issue highlighted by the discovery, however, remained of paramount importance.

“We must seize the opportunity to redirect the talents demonstrated by those involved towards lawful and productive endeavors.

“The young man in the family, known for his passion and ability to build drones, exemplifies this potential.

“His skills should be harnessed and put to good use,” he said.

Nwoko added that the Industrial Revolution served as a pertinent historical precedent where individual efforts catalysed transformative change and made possible by governments that created conducive environments.

“We can emulate this model here. We can provide support and opportunities for talented individuals like the young drone builder, and stimulate a new wave of innovation and economic growth in Nigeria.

“As previously stated, Nigeria’s economy faces significant challenges exacerbated by escalating imports, particularly in the realm of arms and weaponry.

“Therefore, it is imperative that we harness our indigenous talents for the greater good and bolster our local industries,” he said.

Nwoko further said that the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), as well as the Ministry of Science and Technology, have crucial roles to play in this regard.

According to him, by engaging with individuals possessing such skills, we can offer them legal avenues for their expertise to flourish.

“The aim is not only to prevent the proliferation of illegal arms or other weapons manufacturing but also to channel these talents towards legitimate industries for national development.

“I reiterate the need for the government to support and integrate such offenders with specialised skills and talents into the formal economy.

“This initiative should focus on recognising their capabilities and providing opportunities for them to contribute to the development of our local indigenous technology.

“As noted earlier, an individual capable of modifying an AK-47 magazine, originally designed to hold 30 rounds, to accommodate 60 rounds using rudimentary equipment, holds immense potential for greater achievements.

”Such individual can do more with proper legal support and access to adequate resources.”

He disclosed that he was committed to proposing or supporting a new law aimed at assisting talented and skillful individuals involved in illegal activities and also partner with law enforcement agencies in these endeavors.

“Personally, I am committed to proposing or supporting a new law aimed at assisting talented and skillful individuals involved in illegal activities and also partner with law enforcement agencies in these endeavors.

“They have the intelligence and insights of the potential beneficiaries of this “amnesty” drive towards creating a new cadre of indigenous technologists.

“This law would establish an agency dedicated to providing government support and resources to rehabilitate and engage these individuals in legal and productive activities.

“I tentatively suggest naming this proposed law the “National Talent Rehabilitation and Integration Act”.

“This legislation will not only focus on rehabilitation but also on harnessing the skills and talents of offenders for the benefit of society.

“By providing a structured environment and necessary support, this agency will facilitate the transition of individuals from illicit activities to lawful and productive ventures.

”And they will be contributing to both their personal rehabilitation and national development,” Nwoko added. (NAN)

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DEFENCE

Police Nab Suspected Armed Robbery kingpin,  4 others in Abuja

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The operatives of Police Command in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have arrested a suspected armed robbery kingpin and four others in Abuja.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the FCT,  SP Josephine Adeh, said this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

Adeh said the alleged kingpin was the leader of an armed robbery gang responsible for series of robberies and other heinous crimes in the FCT.

She said the kingpin was arrested,  following the apprehension of an alleged cultist and member of the armed robbery gang on Feb.

14.

She said the three other suspects, who were also members of the gang, were arrested following investigations by police operatives.

According to her, all the suspects have confessed to be involved in series of armed robberies and other heinous crimes in FCT.

She said they had also admitted to be members of a confraternity cult group, called Vikings.

Adeh said four locally fabricated AK47 rifles, three locally made rifles, using cartridges, an English pistol and one locally made pistol were recovered from the suspects.

The police spokesperson said a Dane gun, three AK47 ammunition and an empty cartridge were also, recovered from the suspects.

She said efforts were being intensified to recover other exhibits in possession of the suspects.

Adeh said the Commissioner of Police in charge of the FCT, Mr Benneth Igweh, had reiterated the commitment of the command to make FCT uncomfortable for criminals.

She said the CP had enjoined residents to be vigilant and take advantage of the police emergency lines to report suspicious activities through 08032003913, 08028940883, 08061581938 and 07057337653. (NAN)

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DEFENCE

Police Rescue Victims of Eke-Ebe Road Kidnap, Try Abductors

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The Police Command in Enugu State has rescued, unhurt, persons abducted along the Eke/Ebe Road in Udi Local Government Area (LGA) of the state after a fierce gun battle with the abductors.

The Command’s Spokesman, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, in a statement on Wednesday in Enugu, said that the gun battle and rescue happened at about 6:15 p.

m. on March 31, 2024.

According to Ndukwe, police operatives serving in Ezinze Police Division, complemented by the Neighbourhood Watch Group, rescued the victims allegedly kidnapped on the same date at about 4:55 p.

m., along Eke-Ebe Road.

He said that after a fierce gun battle with the abductors, they abandoned the victims and fled.

“The immediate rescue is due to the team’s swift response upon receipt of information alleging that the victims, who were plying the road in two Mercedes Benz 4Matic Jeeps, were abducted and taken into the forest.

“However, further operations to hunt down the abductors are ongoing,” he said.

He said that the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Kanayo Uzuegbu, had also condemned the viral video which allegedly showed that another police team responded to the incident, but without a clear knowledge of the location of the first responding team, and refused to go into the forest to rescue the same victims.

The Command’ Spokesman said: “This is even when the police operatives had only arrived at the scene and were awaiting necessary intelligence-guidance before proceeding into the forest, to avoid any form of collateral damage.

“The commissioner further described the allegations contained in the viral video as an unfortunate act of mischief that is obviously aimed at maligning and distracting the police from frontally tackling and purging Enugu State of die-hard criminals and their activities.

“The commissioner emphasizes that the video was without doubt a gimmick intended to misinform and mislead the public and the command will not waver in its quest to rid Enugu State of unrepentant criminals and their activities despite the mischievous distraction.” (NAN)

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