Police headquarters on fire, prisoners released as gunmen stage multiple attacks in Imo | Dailytrust

Police headquarters on fire, prisoners released as gunmen stage multiple attacks in Imo

Gunmen suspected to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have set some parts of the headquarters of the Imo Police Command...

Gunmen suspected to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have set some parts of the headquarters of the Imo Police Command on fire and attacked the Owerri Correctional Prison.

Daily Trust gathered that the armed gang overpowered security operatives at the facilities.

The gunmen also attacked the nearby office of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Imo state police command, also freeing a number of suspects in all the cells.

The attackers burnt almost all the vehicles parked at the command headquarters.

The gunmen only spared the anti- kidnapping department of the state CID.

The armed men, who were said to have operated in over 10 vehicles, also attacked soldiers stationed Umuorji along Owerri-Onitsha Expressway.

The attackers were said to have had a free rein in the operation said to have started from 1am Monday and lasted for over two hours.

An eyewitness told our correspondent that the gunmen burnt the operational vehicles of the soldiers, who fled in different directions.

They were so bold to have sang solidarity songs at the Government House roundabout for about 30 minutes before attacking the facilities, according to a security source.

Security men stationed at the gate leading to the seat of government were said to have taken to their heels.

A source said that on breaking into the prison facility with the aid of explosives, the gunmen jocularly told inmates, “Go home, Jesus has risen. You have no reason to be here.”

A correctional official told our correspondent that wardens sustained injuries as they fled.

When contacted, the police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the attacks.

According to him, only the SCID session of the command headquarters was attacked by the gunmen and suspects were released.

There is presently heavy security presence in Owerri as security agents have cordoned off the major streets in the state capital.

Many residents are afraid to go out while buses entering the city are parking on the outskirts for fear of being caught up in the melee.

This is the latest assault on security operatives in violent campaign gunmen launched earlier in the year.

After soldiers and Eastern Security Network (ESN), the armed wing of the outlawed IPOB clashed in Orlu two months ago, there have been indiscriminate attacks on security formations and many operatives have been murdered in the line of duty.

Although IPOB has distanced itself from the attacks, the police authorities said some of the suspects they arrested over the incidents have confessed being members of the secessionist group.

Security operatives are not the only targets of the rampaging mob.

At the weekend, seven northern traders were shot dead in different parts of Imo.