The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed A Adamu, has ordered the immediate deployment of additional units of Police Mobile Force and other tactical squads to Imo State to prevent further attacks on security formations or any other critical national infrastructure in the state.
The directives followed the attack on security operatives and formations, including the state police command headquarters and headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Services in Owerri in the early hours of Monday.
A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, CP Frank Mba, said preliminary investigations have revealed that the attackers are members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network.
They were said to have launched the attack wielding sophisticated weapons such as General Purpose Machine Guns, Sub-Machine Guns, AK-49 rifles, Rocket Propelled Grenades and Improvised Explosive Devices.
Mba said: “The attempt by the attackers to gain access to the police armoury at the headquarters was totally and appropriately resisted by police operatives on duty who repelled the attackers and prevented them from breaking in and looting the armoury.
“The armoury is thus intact! Similarly, the police suffered no human casualty, apart from a police constable who sustained a minor bullet wound on his shoulder.”
He said one of the operational vehicles of the attackers had been recovered by the police and is currently being subjected to forensic scrutiny and investigations.
Mba said the IGP had directed the Commissioner of Police in the state and a new Special Investigation Team (specifically set up to deal with cases of incessant attacks on security formation/operatives in the region) to carry out holistic investigations into the incident with a view to fishing out the perpetrators and bringing them to justice.
“The CP is to harness the security reinforcement squads and other operational assets at his disposal to take the battle to the doorsteps of the attackers and prevent any further attack anywhere within the state and its environs,” he said.
The IGP also enjoined leaders in Imo State, South-East and other parts of the country to speak out against the unfolding violence and criminality.
He also called on citizens to avail the police and other security agencies with useful information that can assist in identifying and arresting the criminals.