A commander of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the militia wing of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Emeoyiri Benjamin, also known as Onye Army, has stated that ESN was responsible for some bloody attacks in Imo state, including the abduction and killing of 10 girls for rituals.
The 28-year-old suspect explained how he and his gang members fortified themselves with charms prepared with heads of 10 young girls abducted in the state.
Benjamin was apprehended recently by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team deployed in Imo.
Narrating his criminal escapades, Benjamin said that he joined ESN in 2020 and was trained in a camp for two weeks.
He said 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.
Several inmates escaped during the prison break, while a policeman was killed in the governor’s residence in Omuma, Oru East Local Government Area of the state, and vehicles vandalised.
He said the group attacked Uzodimma’s house to avenge the killing of one Ikonso, who he described as a top ESN commander.
Onye Army stated, “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.”
The suspect said they had killed 30 persons so far in vengeance of Ikonso’s killing and attacked Orlu Police Division to free their members detained at the station.
He said, “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.”