The Nigerian Army has denied reports that it invaded the residence of the self-acclaimed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, in Abia State.
This followed claims by supporters of the IPOB leader on Sunday that some soldiers opened fire on the residents who came out on sighting an Armoured Personnel Carrier.
The 14 Brigade Nigerian Army, Ohafia, however, said it was the residents that threw stones at the military officers.
In a statement issued by its assistant director of public relations, Major Oyegoke Gbadamosi, the Brigade denied reports that it invaded Kanu’s home or killed anybody.
“This is far from the truth. Rather, it was a group of suspected IPOB militants that blocked the road against troops of 145 Battalion while o a show of force along FMC-Word Bank Road in Umuahia town, Abia State at about 6.00-6.30pm, today (Sunday).
“They insisted that the military vehicles would not pass and started pelting the soldiers with stones and broken bottles to the point of injuring an innocent female passerby and a soldier, Corporal Kolawole Mathew,” the statement said.
Major Gbadamosi, however, said troops fired warning shots in the air to disperse the protesters, stating that no life was lost.
He said both the soldier and the passerby have been evacuated to the unit’s Medical Inspection Room in Umuahia, the state capital, where they are receiving treatment.
“We would like to use this opportunity to warn mischief makers threatening the peace and security of the country through falsehood such as above.
“Members of the public are please requested to go about their lawful business and report any suspicious activity to the nearest police station or security outfit,” Gbadamosi said.
The Abia State Police Command also confirmed the incident, saying the situation was brought under control without any loss of life.
A statement issued by the Police Public Relations Officer, Geoffrey Ogbonna, said a policeman was also injured during the clash.
“During the clash, a policeman was given machete cut on his head and back; one of the soldiers on the military APC, attached to FOB Umuahia, was injured in his left wrist and one Mrs Grace Nwokeukwu of Umuobasi lsiama Afara, Umuahia also had a matchet cut on the head.
“All the victims were taken to Police Clinic Umuahia for treatment, while the situation has since been brought under control without any loss of life,” Ogbonna said.