Emeoyiri Benjamin, a commander of the Eastern Security Network, the paramilitary arm of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has confessed to taking part in some of the recent attacks on police stations in Imo state.
According to Punch, the 28-year-old suspect dubbed Onye Army also revealed how they used the heads of 10 young girls for fortification ritual to protect themselves against bullets.
Benjamin, who was recently arrested by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team deployed in Imo said the girls were abducted in Imo state.
He disclosed that the girls were used for fortification ritual ahead of their attack on the Orlu Police Station.
“We went in 10 vehicles. We tied white and red clothes on our bodies for protection against bullets. We prepared the charms with the heads of 10 young girls.
“Temple and Mike came up with the suggestion to use the girls for the charms and we abducted them in Imo State. Unfortunately, before we got to the Orlu Police Station, a police armoured vehicle attacked us and killed 12 of our fighters and injured four others,” Benjamin revealed.
The ESN commander said he joined the group in 2020 and was trained in a camp for two weeks.
He confessed that he participated in the attacks on Owerri Correctional Centre, Imo Police Command headquarters, Orlu Police Station and the country home of the state Governor, Hope Uzodimma, Punch reports.
Benjamin said the attack on Uzodimma’s house was carried out to avenge the killing of Ikonso, an ESN commander, who was killed by security operatives in April alongside six other militia members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
He said the attacks on police formations in Imo and Anambra started after they received an order “that there shouldn’t be any police or military checkpoints in the South-East”.
Narrating his criminal escapades, the ESN commander said, “I am from Uzombe town in Uguta, Imo State. I was in the village in 2019 when one John approached me. He knew I had been looking for a military job without success so he advised me to join IPOB. I was attending IPOB meetings in Orlu every Sunday. I attended the meeting until November 2020 when Mazi Nnamdi Kanu formed the ESN.
“I volunteered to join the ESN and I was trained with many others from different parts of the country in a camp close to the Niger Bridge. Before I went to the camp, I was living in a church in Orlu owned by Nwachukwu. While at the camp, we were given military training and our phones were seized from us.
“After our training we were given boots and uniforms and asked to go back to our various state commanders. My state commander was the late Ikonso. We were not given any money. When I got back to Imo State, I reported back to the church which served as one of our camps at that time. Then, we got an order that there shouldn’t be any police or military checkpoints in the South-East. All the ESN state commanders asked their fighters to comply with the order. I also obeyed the order because I have taken an oath.”
Benjamin further disclosed that in their first attack on a police checkpoint in Orlu, a police officer and two members of his group were killed.
He said they relocated to Anambra to continue attacking police stations and checkpoints after the police busted their camp in Orlu.
“Ikonso, one Engineer Mike and Temple organised the attack on the Owerri Prison and Imo State Police Command headquarters. We stole 50 police rifles. We were over 100 fighters who went for the operation but on our way back, some soldiers attacked us and many of our fighters were killed.
“We carried out a few other attacks on security formations in Imo and Anambra states before Ikonso was killed in his residence. After his death, we burnt the governor’s house and killed a security man,” he said.
The suspect also revealed that 30 persons have so far been killed in vengeance of Ikonso’s killing.