IPOB Refutes Allegations of Involvement in Owerri Jailbreak,Others

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has categorically denied any involvement in the 2021 jailbreak at the Owerri Correctional Centre in Imo State.

This statement was issued by Emma Powerful, the group’s Media and Publicity Secretary, in response to accusations from the Nigerian Army. The Army had claimed that IPOB was behind the breach that resulted in the escape of 1827 inmates.

Instead, IPOB has pointed fingers at the Nigerian security forces, suggesting that the proximity of multiple security agencies to the correctional facility should have facilitated a quick response to the incident, which notably lasted nearly four hours without any intervention. Powerful argues this indicates that the security forces were possibly complicit and questions why the surrounding security personnel did not respond despite the duration and intensity of the attack.

Moreover, Powerful criticized the Nigerian Army’s delay in addressing the incident publicly, suggesting that the recent accusations are part of a strategy to tarnish IPOB’s image. He further insinuated that the government’s narrative might be a pretext to mask their alleged role in orchestrating jailbreaks not only in Owerri but also in other locations like Kuje, Abuja, to further political ends.

IPOB stands firm on its stance as a law-abiding movement advocating for self-determination, dismissing any allegations of orchestrating jailbreaks to free their members. The lack of a thorough and transparent investigation by the Nigerian and Imo State governments into the attack only adds to their skepticism of the official accounts being provided.

The group also challenged the Army’s recent claims by questioning the evidence and demanding the publication of details regarding the alleged IPOB members involved in the attack. This includes their names, units, and coordinators, which have not been disclosed to date.


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