Imo State Police Command yesterday in Owerri, arrested Okechukwu Okorocha, the Senior Special Adviser on Security Matters to Governor Rochas Okorocha, for allegedly stockpiling arms and ammunition apparently for the purpose of disrupting election in the State. Four members of the Imo Security Network (ISN), a security contraption established by the Rochas Okorocha administration have also been arrested.
The suspects’ names were given as Kelechi Onuoha, Chigozie Uzowuru, Osita Obiako and Aka Linus.
Commissioner of Police, Austin Evbakhavbokun, while parading the suspects before newsmen at the State Police Headquarters, Owerri, said that the arrest of the security aide and ISN personnel, followed a tip off.
“The arrest of the SSA and the illegal security personnel followed a very reliable tip off and subsequent search operation conducted by the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, at his house and premises led to the recovery of the arms and ammunition,” he said.
Evbakhavbokun, who spoke through the Public Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Andrew Enwerem, a deputy superintendent of police (DSP) disclosed that “in the course of the operation, the police recovered three pump action automatic rifles, 24 life cartridges and a Ken WalkieTalkie”.
According to him, during a similar operation at the security post of Imo Security Network at Egbeada Housing Estate, on the outskirts of Owerri Municipality, four members of Okorocha’s ISN were arrested and three automatic pump action riffles and 14 live cartridges were recovered.
The police commissioner said Okorocha’s stockpiling of weapons was aimed at disrupting the general elections in the state. He recalled that soon after assuming office in Imo, he issued a warning that all unapproved security outfits should surrender their arms to the Police.
“The arrest of the suspects was in order, considering the time for the general election scheduled to begin today,” the CP said.
The SSA who was arrested told newsmen that he had asked his men to surrender their arms for onward submission to the police and had since surrendered them to the police.
“I was surprised to see arms recovered in one of my rooms. The recovered arms may be the ones ISN members could not return earlier before I traveled,” Okorocha said.