Three persons were reportedly shot dead on Monday when policemen and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra clashed in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
A police source told our correspondent on Tuesday that the IPOB members stormed the Okigwe Road and started destroying billboards of candidates of political parties.
A police detachment was deployed to rescue the situation, but the IPOB members allegedly attacked the operatives.
The source said, “The IPOB members stormed the street and started destroying billboards of candidates of political parties. Policemen quickly rushed to the scene, but on sighting the policemen, the IPOB members attacked them.
“In the ensuing battle, three members of the IPOB lost their lives, while two were rushed to the hospital. Four policemen were also shot and taken to the hospital.”
Southern City News gathered that one AK-47 riffle belonging to one of the policemen was allegedly snatched by members of the separatist group.
Another police source told our correspondent that the Commander of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the command, Victor Geoffery, later mobilised his men to the scene and arrested some of the IPOB members.
The source said, “The Commander of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad mobilised his men to the scene and overpowered the IPOB members. As I speak to you, 20 of them are in our custody.
“We recovered many Biafra insignia from the suspects as exhibits. We will charge them to the court after investigation.”
The state Commissioner of Police, Dasuki Galadanchi, said the suspects would be charged to court after investigation.
Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is a separatist organisation led by Nnamdi Kanu. The group wants a number of states in south-east Nigeria, made up mainly of people from the Igbo ethnic group, to break away from Nigeria and form the independent nation of Biafra.
To achieve this, the group is calling for a referendum, stating that they will continue to agitate until the Nigerian government fixes a date for the referendum “to settle the issue of Biafra in a civilised and democratic manner”. On 20 September 2017, a Federal High Court in Abuja granted the Nigerian Federal Government an interim injunction proscribing the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra.
Amnesty International has accused the Nigeria army of killing not less than 150 members of IPOB with video evidence of the massacre at Nkpor in Anambra State from 29 to 30th of May 2016 as they celebrate Biafra remembrance day and that of Ngwa high school on the 8th of February in a prayer service.
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