The operatives of the Abia State Police Command has arrested 47 members of the Biafra Independent Movement for allegedly impersonating security officials.
The suspects were arrested on Tuesday on the Aba/Port Harcourt expressway.
A Deputy Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Vincent Brown, who led the operation, said the suspects were arrested while they were obstructing vehicular and human movement.
He said BIM members did not obtain any permission from the Police to hold any protest in the state and their actions were considered illegal.
The state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Anthony Ogbizi, confirmed the arrest in Umuahia, the state capital, on Wednesday.
He said the BIM members were arrested for wearing uniforms that looked like those of the Ingenious People of Biafra, adding that they were not easily differentiated from the IPOB members.
He said, “Remember that IPOB was proscribed last year and there was nothing to differentiate the suspects from IPOB. Although, MASSOB and BIM were not in the list of proscribed associations, they would still be taken to court for impersonation and for conducting themselves in a manner that seemed to breach public peace.
“They may not be charged under the anti-terrorism act but definitely they will be taken to court.”
He said the Police have been placed on red alert as a result of attempts to breach the peace of the state in recent times.
“There have been series of ugly events recently; one of them is the detonation of an improvised explosive device which affected a police vehicle last month.
“Some hoodlums who were in a tricycle threw an Improvised Explosive Device at police operatives at a checkpoint. Six of them were injured; while four has been treated and discharged, two are still in the hospital,” he said.
Ogbizi said the police and the army were investigating the matter to unravel those behind the attack.
He said, “The Army Brigade Commander in the state has confirmed that his soldiers arrested one of the occupants of tricycle and impounded the tricycle too.
“So, we are not in a hurry to make statements on the matter because we want to get our facts as to what happened.”