The men, whose identities were unveiled Sunday, were arrested in Nnewi, Anambra state, along with some insignias of IPOB and eight motorcycles.
The police said they may also be charged with murder, attempted murder, rioting and malicious damage, upon the completion of their investigation.
According to police spokesman Jimoh Moshood, the men’s journey to police detention began after police acted on an intelligence report that IPOB members had gathered in their hundreds with dangerous weapons near Teaching Hospital, Owerri Road, Nnewi about to cause disturbance of Public Peace and public safety in the Nnewi and Environs.
This was on 23 November.
“Consequently, Police Patrol teams led by the Area Commander, Nnewi, ACP Nnanna Oji Ama mobilized to the scene to prevent them from causing breakdown of law and order and mayhem, and destruction of lives and property.
“The Police Team, while proceeding to the scene came under ambush from the IPOB members. In the process, a Police Inspector was killed, two other Police Officers were seriously injured and one Police Patrol vehicle was set ablaze, and the proscribed IPOB members snatched and carted away two AK47 Rifles and one Beretta Pistol with ammunition.
“The IPOB members subsequently attacked other innocent people on sight with machete and other dangerous weapons as they marched towards the Agboedo Market shouting “NO ELECTIONS WITHOUT REFERENDUM”.
“The Divisional Police Officer, Central Police Station (CPS), Nnewi, CSP Babalola Adewunyi, ASP Micheal Duru attached to Area Command, Nnewi and Inspector Akinbami Olaniyi attached to CPS Nnewi sustained serious injuries from the ambush by the proscribed/unlawful IPOB members. The injured Police personnel were rushed to the Hospital for medical attention where the Inspector later died, while the other Police personnel are currently under intensive care in the hospital.
“The Anambra State Command promptly deployed reinforcement from the State Headquarters comprising Anti-riot Police Mobile Force (PMF), Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), Police Anti-Bomb Squad/Explosive Ordinance Department (EOD), Special Anti-cult Unit Personnel and conventional Policemen who quelled the crisis, arrest some of the perpetrators and restored peace and normalcy in Nnewi town and environs.
“The Thirty Three (33) suspects (IPOB members) arrested for the killing of the Police Inspector, inflicting injury on others and setting ablaze a Police patrol vehicle are now in police custody and undergoing investigation.
“The Joint Police Intervention Force deployed are carrying out confidence building patrols and crime prevention operations to sustain the peace and normalcy that have been restored and prevent any breakdown of law and order in the affected area and other parts of the State.
“The Inspector General of Police has directed the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State to carryout intense search operations for the recovery of the two (2) AK47 rifles and one Beretta Pistol with the ammunition snatched from the slain Police Inspector and other Police Officers wounded by the proscribed IPOB members, and should also immediately carryout an operation to rout-out and arrest other fleeing suspects (proscribed IPOB members) who participated in the ambush of the Police personnel and bring them to justice.
“The Nigeria Police Force is deeply concerned with the security implications with regards to the renewed hostilities from the proscribed/unlawful Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Anambra State and the new trend of subversive propaganda from the proscribed IPOB members aimed at undermining law and order in the affected State by the group, their associates, sponsors, apologists and sympathisers.
“The Force, therefore, will not tolerate this and will do everything within the ambit of the law to protect the people, ensure that law and order prevails and bring any perpetrator of violence and mayhem on the people or Police personnel to justice.
“The Commissioners of Police in the States contiguous to Anambra State and their supervisory Assistant Inspector Generals of Police, their personnel and Anti-riot equipment have been placed on red-alert by the Inspector General of Police to ensure utmost safety of lives and properties and deal decisively with any group(s) or individual(s) who attempt or cause disturbance of public peace and public safety in their respective States.
*The full List of arrested IPOB members:
UCHE AMOS, 65Yrs, from Nnewi North LGA, Anambra State
ELIAZER EMMANUEL, 24Yrs, from Umunneochi LGA, Abia State
ELIAZER CHIMA, 23Yrs, from Umunneochi LGA, Abia State
ABUCHI OBETA, 19Yrs, from Nnewi South LGA, Anambra State
SOMTOCHUKWU OKAFOR, 17Yrs, from Nnewi North LGA, Anambra State
AGBOMA JUDE, 35Yrs, from Nsukka, Enugu State
KELECHI EZE, 20Yrs, from Nnewi North LGA, Anambra State
OKAFOR CHIMIERE OLISA, 20Yrs, from Nnewi North LGA, Anambra State
RAPHEAL OGOH, 27Yrs, from Nnewi South LGA, Anambra State
OKEKE CHISOM, 19Yrs, from Nnewi North LGA, Anambra State
DANIEL NWAKPU, 35Yrs, from Ikwo, Ebonyi State
FRIDAY NWAFOR, 34Yrs, from Ishielu LGA, Ebonyi State
ONYEKA NWAJOBI, 49Yrs, from Nnewi North LGA, Anambra State
OBETA UWAKWE, 25Yrs, from Igboeze North LGA, Anambra State
FESTUS ODIKA, 41Yrs, from Nnewi North LGA, Anambra State
EMMANUEL OKOYE, 22Yrs, from Nnewi North LGA, Anambra State
UMEH SUNDAY, 43Yrs, from Aguata LGA, Anambra State
IKE CHIEMEZIE SAMUEL
SUNDAY ILONZE, 43Yrs, from Nnewi North LGA, Anambra State
CHUKWUEMEKA NWAESE, 32Yrs, from Nnewi North LGA, Anambra State
ODUGU CHIMA, 23Yrs, from Nnewi North LGA, Anambra State
JACOB MONDAY, 48Yrs, from Nnewi South LGA, Anambra State
VINCENT OKOROAFOR, 39Yrs, from Owerri North, Imo State
JUDE EKE, 32Yrs, from Igboeze South LGA, Enugu State
CHARLES UKAZU, 35Yrs, from Ideato South LGA, Imo State
EZIEOKWU ERNEST 17 YRS, from Nnewi North LGA, Anambra State
CHIBUIKE OZOEMENA, 30Yrs, from Ikeduru LGA, Imo State
CHIGOZIE ONYEOGAZIRI, 46Yrs, from Nnewi North LGA, Anambra State
NWANKWO DONATUS, 48Yrs, from Orumba South LGA, Anambra State
OKAFOR OLISA, 20Yrs, from Nnewi North LGA, Anambra State
PETER NWANKWO, 25Yrs, from Nnewi South LGA, Anambra State
EBEGBONI GEOFFREY, 43Yrs, from Ika South LGA, Delta State.