Imo State Police Command yesterday in Owerri, arrested Mr. Okechukwu Okorocha, the Senior Special Adviser, SSA, on Security Matters, to Governor Rochas Okorocha, for allegedly stockpiling arms and ammunition apparently for the purpose of disrupting election in the State.
Similarly, four members of Imo Security Network, ISN, a security contraption established by the Rochas Okorocha administration, are also cooling their heels in police cells for the same offence.
Parading the suspects before newsmen at the State Police Headquarters, Owerri, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Austin Evbakhavbokun, 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 ammunitions”, the CP said.
The Imo Police boss, who spoke through Public Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. 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”.
Continuing, the CP said that in a similar operation at the security post of Imo Security Network at Egbeada Housing Estate, on the outskirts of Owerri Municipality, apprehended four members of Okorocha’s ISN, as well as recovered three automatic pump action riffles and 14 live cartridges.
He gave the names of the suspects as Kelechi Onuoha, Chigozie Uzowuru, Osita Obiako and Aka Linus.
On why the Okorocha men were stockpiling arms and ammunitions, the CP said it was aimed at disrupting the general elections in the state.
Answering a question, the CP 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.
Speaking to newsmen, the SSA to the Governor explained that before his arrest, he had asked his men to surrender their arms for onward submission to the police, adding that since his directive, he had surrendered a number of arms to the police, which is in their inventory.
“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”, Mr. Okorocha said.
He further explained that before now, his men had been working closely with the police, adding that Imo Security Network has contributed in the reduction of kidnapping in the state.