Police authority in Edo State on Saturday debunked reports that ISWAP carried out the attack on its officers at Ibillo-Igarra Road Junction, Edo State.
Recall that one of the command’s officers was killed and an operational vehicle burnt when criminals carried out a reprisal attack on police operatives in the state on Friday.
In a statement, the Command’s Deputy Spokesperson, ASP Jennifer Iwegbu said, “In continuation of our ongoing bush combing strategy to rid the state of heinous crimes, especially kidnapping, you would recall that the anti-crime patrol team of the Ibillo division, Edo State attacked and killed five kidnappers on 14/08/2022 at Ughoshi- Afe bush, Ibillo in Akoko Edo LGA.
“The team was ambushed by ravaging bandits while on another bush combing mission on 22/09/2022. The Command believed this was a reprisal attack on our men who had killed five of their gang members early last month, we lost an Operative and a vehicle.
“After a thorough investigation in collaboration with other sister agencies, the Command wishes to state that the Command is on top of the situation as the CP has emplaced measures to that effect.
“The Command’s tactical teams led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations are currently carrying out an Operation with a view on bringing the assailants to book. Efforts are being intensified as the command is in hot pursuit of their trail,” the statement noted.
In addition to the police statement, the Edo State Government also debunked the claim that members of ISWAP carried out an attack in the state.
Also a statement on Saturday by the Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, said an investigation by the security agencies showed that no such attack took place in the state.
The statement reads, “The Edo State Government refutes claims that it was ISWAP, that carried out the attack by fleeing bandits at Ibillo-Igarra Road Junction, where they burnt a Wabaizigan patrol vehicle on September 22, 2022, after a thorough investigation by the state security outfits involving the Police, Nigerian Army, Edo State Vigilante Network and Nigeria Civil Defence Corp.
“There is no evidence of ISWAP or its operatives in Edo State. Government assures that it will continue to provide support to the security agencies in the state to tackle crime and criminality and also enhance patrols of the state’s borders to make the state most uncomfortable for the decimated bandits.
“The Edo State government restates its commitment to the safety of lives and property in the state and to the sustenance of a safe environment for citizens to go about their lawful businesses.
“The Police said it was a reprisal on their officers by criminals who were aggrieved with the killings of their gang members, who kidnapped innocent citizens,” Nehikhare noted.