Police in Imo State, southeastern Nigeria, have ruled on the recent beheading of Christopher Ohizu, the sole administrator of the northern Ideato local government area of the state.
State police spokesman Henry Okoye revealed this in a statement on Monday.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the gunmen, in a viral video clip, beheaded the town hall area manager, after kidnapping him and razing his residence on Friday.
Mr. Okoye, assistant superintendent of police, said police in the state were aware of the “obscene” video showing the victim being beheaded.
The police spokesman said the suspected members of the outlaws Biafran Indigenous People (IPOB) and its militant wing, Eastern Security Network, carried out the attack.
“The command wishes to inform the good people of the state that we are now aware of the situation following a high-level investigation launched by the state police commissioner, Ahmed Barde,” Mr. Okoye said.
“Since then, we began a technical investigation into the date of the abduction and have been on the trail of the thugs where tremendous progress was being made before the obscene video surfaced,” he said.
He said the police would not let up in their efforts to track down the thugs and tease out their identities.
Mr Okoye urged people in the council area and other residents of the state to remain calm and carry on with their legal matters, assuring that police and officials from other security agencies were “working diligently” to prevent any breach of law and order in the state.
He called on residents to help police with “credible information” and also report any suspicious movement in their area.
Worsening of insecurity
Like other states in south-eastern Nigeria, security has deteriorated in Imo state with frequent attacks by armed individuals.
Attacks often target security agencies, government officials, and facilities.
The latest attack occurred some two days after a police officer was killed by gunmen who attacked the Oguta Police Headquarters in the Oguta Local Government Area of the state.
Gunmen, suspected of being IPOB members, attacked the Agwa Vigilante Group in the Agwa community in the same Oguta council area of the state on Wednesday. Three presumed members of the IPOB were assassinated by police agents who thwarted the attack.
The Nigerian government has accused IPOB of being responsible for the deadly attacks in the region. But the group has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attacks.
IPOB is leading the agitation for an independent Biafra state that wants to secede from the southeast and some parts of south-south Nigeria.