The police have arrested a dismissed army lance corporal allegedly responsible for training and recruiting people into the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the militant arm of the outlawed pro-Biafra group, IPOB, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
He was arrested a few days after a top commander of the terror group, Awurum Eze, was arrested in Aba, Abia State.
The group is alleged to have been responsible for killings of security agents and destruction of public properties in the South-east and South-south zones. They have, however, denied the allegations.
According to security sources, the 32 years old dismissed soldier, whose name was given as Livinus Owalum-Barnabas, was arrested on Sunday, at Gwagwalada Area Council of the FCT by officials of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
The ex-soldier was said to have been recruited by some members of IPOB in Abuja and sent to train newly recruited IPOB/ESN members in two of their training Camps in Abia and Delta states.
Upon his arrest, the suspect allegedly confessed to having been employed by IPOB who, he said, promised to pay him double what he was receiving in the army.
He also allegedly said he trained at least 2,000 members of the ESN on combat operations, ambush and use of firearms, in the two camps between September and December last year.
The suspect reportedly told security operatives he was engaged by one ‘Mr Ebere’ who paid him N100,000 before he proceeded to Abia State.
He said Mr Ebere was later arrested alongside 14 other suspected members of the group who were using a church environment for their meetings where they raised money to be sent to the South-east for the purchase of ammunition.
Items allegedly recovered from the ex-soldier were receipts, a list of contributors, a list of members and oaths of allegiance to Biafra and Nnamdi Kanu, police sources said.
Attacks on security officials
Security operatives in the South-east and South-south regions have been targets of attacks by suspected members of the ESN.
The attackers have continued to kill police officers and destroy their facilities for the past two months.
The attacks in the two regions are separate from the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east.
Also, as part of the general insecurity across the country, several states in Nigeria have been struggling with kidnapping for ransom, banditry, frequent clashes between farmers and herders, and inter-communal conflicts.
Due to the regular attacks on security outfits in the South-east, the governors and heads of security agencies in the five states in the region held a summit on security where they agreed to establish a joint security outfit to check the insecurity in the region.
IPOB, an outlawed secessionist group, and its security network, ESN, has been accused of being responsible for some of the attacks against the police in the South-east, but the group has denied any involvement in the attacks.
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