The Nigerian Army says troops of 82 Division have dislodged the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed affiliate, Eastern Security Network (ESN) from their hideout in Anambra
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement, said the clearance operation took place on Monday at Orsumoghu, Ihiala Local Government Area of the state.
Nwachukwu said the notorious groups had serially launched attacks on defenceless civilians and security targets from the hideout.
He said troops were met with stiff resistance from the dissident elements, as they closed in on their enclave during the operations along Imo-Anambra border communities.
According to him, the criminals were overwhelmed by the troops’ superior firepower, forcing them to abandon their hideout.
“After over running their camp, the gallant troops carried out further exploitation and recovered a cache of arms, comprising 22 Pump Action rifles, 19 Dane guns and 6 machetes.
“Other items recovered include assorted mobile phones, sim cards, monitor and a laptop.
”One operational Hilux vehicle and various voodoo items and charms were also recovered,”he added.
Nwachukwu said that investigations had revealed that the hideout served as the operational base of one Innocent Obieke (aka Double Lion).
He said Obieke was said to be the head of the vigilante group in the area, but surreptitiously coordinated the criminal activities of IPOB/ESN in the area.
According to him, the suspect is currently on the run, while troops have intensified operations to close in on him and his cohorts.
“Members of the general public are please enjoined to continue to support troops and other security agencies with credible and timely information that will lead to the arrest of criminal elements in their vicinity,” he said.