Soldiers searching for ESN operatives kill tricycle operator, raid church in Imo

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Soldiers searching for ESN operatives kill tricycle operator, raid church in Imo

There was pandemonium in Umudim and Okporo communities of Orlu Local Government Area following an attack on the communities by Nigerian soldiers allegedly searching for operatives of Eastern Security Network, ESN.

Local sources said a team of Military Personnel conveyed in over 21 Hilux trucks stormed the communities at about 5.00 am shooting sporadically into the air.

The shooting sent shivers down the spine of the residents of the area with many hurriedly packing their belonging to evade further raids.

According to a source from one of the communities who pleaded anonymity, “They invaded Okporo and Umutanze villages. As they drove off, the lifeless body of one of their victims, a young man identified as a Keke operator was found”.

Another source said two security agents were killed in the area a week ago by suspected hoodlums, sparking the reprisal.

The soldiers later stormed House of Prayer International Covenant Church Okporo church members.

They also over five buildings on fire.

National Secretary of the church, Luke Nwannadi, said the invasion by the army occured at the early hours of Friday.

According to him: “An incident occurred at the early hours of January 22, 2021, being an unprovoked invasion of our Church at Okporo Headquarters, Orlu, Imo State by the Nigerian Army.

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“In the course of our routine morning devotional service at about 6 a.m, unknown to us, a group of Nigerian Military men surrounded the Church premises, shooting sporadically and forcefully entered the church and arrested many of our members who were taken to an unknown destination.

“During this unwarranted attack, many gates, doors and windows were destroyed by the invading soldiers.

“It is pertinent to note that the soldiers who came in military vans left everyone in doubt as to the reason for the wanton destruction of properties and the consequent arrest of our members.

“Worthy of note is that House of Prayer International Covenant Church is a registered corporate entity which has been in existence since 1966 with more than 65 branches across Nigeria, and at no time has the Church been involved in any criminal activity that could lead to this kind of debacle.

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