Operatives of the Nigerian Police have arrested a former soldier said to be responsible for the training of fighters for the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the militant arm of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The former soldier, identified as 32 years old Livinus Owalum-Barnabas was arrested on Sunday in Gwagwalada, Abuja by operatives attached to the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
Owalum-Barnabas is understood to be a dismissed army lance corporal and was lured by IPOB/ESN with a monetary offer of double what he gets paid in the military.
An exclusive report by Premium Times revealed that the former soldier was recruited by some members of IPOB in Abuja and sent to train newly recruited IPOB/ESN in two of their training Camps in Abia and Delta States.
After his arrest, the suspect is said to have confessed to have trained at least 2,000 members of the ESN on combat operations, ambush and use of firearms, in the two camps between September to December last year.
The arrest comes a few weeks after a joint operation by operatives of the Nigeria Police Force and their counterparts from the Nigerian Army and Department of State Services (DSS) has resulted in the killing of the suspected insurgent attacking Imo and other southeast states.
Meanwhile, despite the allegations by security operatives that ESN is responsible for killings of security agents and destruction of public properties in the South-east and South-south zones, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has revealed that he created the Eastern Security Network (ESN) to deal with terrorist herdsmen.
In a post on his Twitter handle on Monday, Nnamdi Kanu insisted that the group has not been involved in any criminal activity.
According to the IPOB leader, the security network was created to defend the people of the Eastern region from terrorists and bandits.
See Nnamdi Kanu’s tweet below;
I’ve said it before but let say it again that the Eastern Security Network I command is strictly organized to deal with TERRORIST herdsmen in our land. ESN is a highly disciplined group of volunteers that does not engage in any act of criminality or terror.
— Mazi Nnamdi Kanu (@MaziNnamdiKanu) May 17, 2021