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Soldiers’ killing: Military, family bicker over arrest of Abia community leader

The military high command and family members of President-General of Umuaku Isuochi in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State, Obinna Obi, have locked horns…

The military high command and family members of President-General of Umuaku Isuochi in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State, Obinna Obi, have locked horns over arrest of the community leader.

While the Nigerian Army said Obinna was arrested for allegedly linked to the coordination of activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra and Eastern Security Network, the family argued that he was abducted illegally for offence he knew nothing about.

Daily Trust reports that that the military has been combing some areas in Abia following the killing of five soldiers attached to “Operation Udo Ka” who were on peace mission in the South East zone of the country by suspected members of the outlawed IPOB.

In a Save-our-Soul (SOS) letter sent to the military over the alleged “abduction”, the younger brother of Obinna, explained that his brother was whisked away in a commando style without any explanation from the military team.

According to him, the army team led by a Major, tied his brother on their truck and drove him to an unknown destination, saying his wife children are currently in pains.

He narrated, “My brother’s name is Mr Obinna Obi, he’s an architect and president General of our town department union. He was kidnapped by the army and tied on their truck and drove away yesterday around 4:00pm.

“Nobody knows where they have taken him to, nobody knows his whereabouts up till now. His wife and children are in severe panic. They can’t sleep anymore. My aged mum in the village is equally in shock and panic over the sudden action of the military.

“The village is Umuaku Isuochi, in Umunneochi local government area of Abia state. Little information I got is that this raid was carried out by an army Major that is in charge of a military post at Lomara junction, along Isuochi.

“He was picked up in Umuaku Market Square in front of his friend’s supermarket in broad daylight. He actually traveled to the village this weekend because he doesn’t stay in the village.

“He went for his normal routine visit and meetings as the president General.
A lot of his friend’s were there but they couldn’t do anything because the army personnel were shooting sporadically.”

But the spokesman of the army, Onyema Nwachukwu, a Major-General, while confirming that Obinna was in the military’s custody for interrogation, said he was arrested in connection with the activities IPOB.

“The information currently at my disposal is that Frank Obinna was arrested yesterday by troops during a raid operation in conjunction with other security agencies and vigilantes at Umuakwu in Umunneochi LGA of Abia State.

“He is allegedly linked to coordination of IPOB/ESN nefarious activities and camps in Umunneochi general area and presently in troops’ custody for further investigations,” the senior military officer said.

In the same vein, the Director, Defence Media Operations, Edward Buba, said the authenticity of the allegations levelled against the military by the family members would be looked into.

He said, “It would be recalled that Abia State and indeed the LGA mentioned have recorded cases of IPOB/ESN activities in recent times. It would not, therefore, be surprising if there is a connection to IPOB/ESN activities.

“Nevertheless, it will be looked into for authenticity of the allegation. Be assured that I would revert soonest, please. Kind regards,” Buba, also a Major-General explained.

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