The Police have confirmed the arrest of a man, Cletus Nwachukwu Egole aka Alewa understood to be a pastor with the Holy Blessed Trinity Sabbath Church, Orlu, Imo State.
He was arrested for working as a spiritual cover provider for the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Eastern Security Network (ESN).
Egole’s house was used by the gang members to plan their different operations and he also provided a farmland that belongs to his late brother for the groups to use as a hideout and training camp.
The Police has blamed the two organizations for some recent attacks on security operatives and security formations across the south-east.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba in a statement on Sunday, noted that another person arrested alongside Egole was Michael Uba, a prophet with the Association of Jewish Faith, who confessed to working with two of the masterminds of the various attacks who had previously confessed to being active members of IPOB and ESN.
He named the two other suspects as Ugochukwu Samuel a.k.a Biggy, 28-year-old and native of Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State and Raphael Idang, 31, from Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State.
“Twelve others, in the course of investigation, were implicated in multiple felonies committed across several states in the South-Eastern part of the Federation.
“The suspects were arrested in various parts of the country following sustained, and intelligence-driven sting operations.
“Police investigations clearly established and linked the suspects to several incidents of attacks and murder of security personnel as well as stealing, unlawful possession of firearms, arson and malicious damage to operational assets of military and law enforcement agents.
“Specifically, investigations revealed that the duo of Ugochukwu Samuel, aka Biggy, and Raphael Idang were among the criminal elements that attacked policemen on duty at a checkpoint on 24th December, 2020 along Orlu-Ihiala Road in Imo State where two police officers were killed and a Police Hilux patrol van set ablaze.
“In addition, both were part of a larger group that attacked a police reconnaissance team on 13th January, 2021 killing one police officer. Ugochukwu Samuel a.k.a Biggy, who sustained a bullet wound during an attack by his gang on a military convoy in which some soldiers were killed and weapons carted away, was subsequently arrested while receiving treatment in a hospital. Both suspects confessed to being active members of IPOB and ESN,” Mba said in the statement.
A total of nine AK47 rifles, five other sophisticated firearms, 17 AK47 Magazines, 549 AK47 live ammunition, 10 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), camouflage bulletproof vests, walkie talkies, and other items were also recovered from the suspects, Naija News gathered.
Meanwhile, troops of the 28 Task Force Brigade of Sector 1 Operation Lafiya Dole have killed 48 Boko Haram terrorists in Askira and Chibok towns, while 11 victims were rescued from the terrorists.
It was gathered that the troops encountered the insurgents in an ambush along the Chibok-Damboa axis of Borno State.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen Mohammed Yerima, in a statement, on Saturday, said the troops engaged and killed the terrorist, recovering seven AK-47 rifles from them and freeing three kidnapped victims.
In Askira, the troops also killed 39 terrorists also and freed eight victims.