Following an attack on a correctional facility and police command headquarters in Imo State, with 1,844 inmates set free, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has deployed additional units of Police Mobile Force (PMF) and other Police Tactical Squads to the state, to strengthen security in the state and prevent further attacks on security formations or any other critical national infrastructure.
Disclosing the deployment directive by the IGP, the Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba said that it was prompted by the attack on security operatives and formations, including the Imo State Police Command Headquarters and the Headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCS) in Owerri in the early hours of Monday, April 5, 2021.
According to Mba, “preliminary investigations have revealed that the attackers, who came in their numbers with sophisticated weapons such as General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs), Sub-Machine Guns (SMGs), AK-49 rifles, Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs), Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), are members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)/Eastern Security Network (ESN).
“The attempt by the attackers to gain access to the Police armoury at the headquarters was totally and appropriately resisted by police operatives on duty who repelled the attackers and prevented them from breaking in and looting the armoury. The armoury is thus intact.
“Similarly, the police suffered no human casualty, apart from a police Constable who sustained a minor bullet wound on his shoulder.
“Meanwhile, one of the operational vehicles of the attackers has been recovered by the Police and is currently being subjected to forensic scrutiny and investigations.”
The FPRO said that Adamu, who condemned the attack on the security outfits, “has further directed the Commissioner of Police, Imo State Command and a new Special Investigation Team (specifically set up to deal with cases of incessant attacks on security formation/operatives in the region), to carry out holistic investigations into the incident with a view to fishing-out the perpetrators and bringing them to justice.
“The Commissioner of Police is to harness the security reinforcement squads and other operational assets at his disposal, to take the battle to the doorsteps of the attackers and prevent any further attack anywhere within the state and its environs.”
The IGP, who described the deliberate and criminal attack on security operatives as “an attack on the soul of our nation,” enjoined the state leaders, those in the the South-East and other parts of the country, to speak out against the unfolding violence and criminality.
“The IGP calls on citizens to avail the police and other security agencies with useful information that can assist in identifying and arresting the criminals,” the FPRO stated.
He added that the IGP had vowed to bring the perpetrators to book, assuring that the Force would do all within its powers to curb the activities of unscrupulous elements hell-bent on threatening the unity, safety, security and socio-ecomomic wellbeing of Nigerians.