The Imo State Police Command has said the attack on the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Owerri, the state capital, was carried out by gunmen suspected to be members of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and its affiliate, Eastern Security Network (ESN).
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mike Abattam, made the confirmation in a statement on Tuesday.
Three gunmen and a policeman died in the attack carried out in the early hours of Monday. One other policeman was injured.
The PPRO, said one other policeman died from the attack.
Abattam said, “On 12/12/2022 at about 0330hours, armed bandits suspected to be members of the proscribed IPOB and its armed affiliate, ESN, in their numbers, came to the INEC’s office along Port-Harcourt Road, New Owerri, shooting sporadically, and threw improvised explosives into the premises of the INEC from a petroleum filling station that share fence with the commission.”
He added that, “At the INEC office, two offices were affected by the explosives and petrol bomb; however the main building remains intact.
“The corpses of the neutralized hoodlums and that of the two police operatives, who paid the supreme price, were evacuated and deposited at the Federal Medical Centre Owerri and another operative who sustained bullet wound on his leg was rushed to the hospital for treatment and is in stable condition.
“Meanwhile, concerted efforts are being made to arrest the fleeing suspects since they cannot go far, due to the various degrees of injuries they sustained in the gun duel.”