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IPOB members arrested over ‘inciting songs’ missing

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Four months after the Enugu state police command arrested 140 members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) for allegedly organising unlawful procession, some members of the group are yet to be found.

The command spokesman, Ebere Amaraizu, told The Guardian that after the IPOB members were arrested on Wednesday 22 May in Nsukka Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, the way about of Iloegbusi Ikenna Emmanuel is yet unknown.

He said the man who hails from Oji River LGA and some of his fellow members of the group were caught displaying “proscribed items” on the streets and “chanting inciting songs against the nation.

“Through a joint security task force, 140 IPOB members were arrested on Wednesday while engaging in unlawful procession and display of proscribed items against the nation,” he said.

He said the police have obtained statements from some of the members of the group, and that they would be charged to court, though no firm arms or weapon was recovered from them.

“The police command in Enugu state is still looking for Iloegbusi, Chukwuemeka Okeke, Ifeanyi Ibendu and some other members of the group urging residents of the state to remain law abiding as security and safety is the bedrock of any progressive society,” he said.

Relating to the sit-at-home order given by IPOB, he added that the police would ensure that law-abiding citizens go about their activities “without fear of intimidation or molestation. The defence headquarters had in 2017 tagged IPOB a terrorist organisation, though no ammunition or prohibited weapon was seen with them.

A federal high court in Abuja subsequently proscribed the group, and declared its activities acts of terrorism. This caused uproar in the country as different citizens challenged that to be unlawful and unconstitutional, as the group carried out no act of terrorism.

Meanwhile, efforts to reach Iloegbusi’s family members to know the way about of their son have not been easy. Speaking to one of the family members (name withheld), he said Iloegbusi is still in hiding for the fear of loosing his life.

“After his disappearance, Iloegbusi’s wife and son were abducted by some unknown gunmen, just for their lifeless bodies to be discovered along Enugu – Awka express way days later. We believe Iloegbusi is in hiding for the fear of his life, because many members of IPOB have been killed for no unlawful reason,” he said.

Also, efforts to reach Chukwuemeka Okeke and his family were fruitless. Neighbors told The Guardian that the Chukwuemeka absconded with his family after he escaped being killed by the police and his way about is still unknown.


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