An Imo State resident and supporter of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) alleged to have leaked information leading to the killing of IPOB commander, Ikonso Don, has appeared in a video to deny the allegation, saying he and the deceased were brothers.
The middle-aged man, who spoke in English and Igbo, confirmed that he initially disagreed with IPOB but was later sat down and lectured by Ikonso.
He explained that he was innocent of some claims which had now gone viral that he was the one who leaked Ikonso’s information to the security agencies to trail and kill him.
“Ikonso is my brother, I love him. I can never ever fight my brother or kill my brother on any issue. I am very innocent of this accusation. Sincerely, I’m very innocent of this. And I make bold to come out and say that I am very innocent. Let’s talk about how to mourn our own brother.
“He is my brother I can never deny him (sic). Is this how to mourn your hero? You should be talking about how to take care of the family of this young guy? Instead of allegation, you should be taking about how to do something to celebrate this guy.
“He called me and sat me down and told me many things and he corrected my steps and I started supporting IPOB. So, why must I go or even think of doing this? Am I mad?” the man explained in the three-minute video.
SaharaReporters had on Tuesday reported that the Nigerian Army’s operation against the Eastern Security Network and IPOB in Awomama Village, Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State was aided by local informants which led to the killing of Ikonso.
Sources had told SaharaReporters that Ikonso was also allegedly given away by some of his photographs shared on the social media as well as by one of his friends, who had been in touch with security agencies for weeks, if not months.
“Ikonso Don was a well-known hardcore IPOB member. When the ESN was launched, he joined and participated in several operations, rising to later become a commander. He was going to his village in Umuoma alongside other ESN members when they were ambushed.
“He was targeted and killed after some of the Igbo he was fighting for gave out his details to the security forces,” a source had explained.
“His photographs were also shared on social media by a friend and he was given away as the ESN commander. That was the same place his photograph with Nnamdi Kanu was obtained,” another source had revealed.
On Saturday, the army stated that its troops and the police intelligence team killed Ikonso, known as Vice President, and six IPOB commanders who worked for the Eastern Security Network in a raid the operatives carried out on the “operational Headquarters of the IPOB.”
The army had confirmed that an officer and three policemen were also shot dead by the ESN during the gun battle on Saturday.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Mohammed Yerima, had released a photograph of Ikonso with IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, as well as of the shrine where the ESN and IPOB fighters reportedly gathered in Oru East.
The army spokesman revealed that they had been on the trail of Ikonso and other ESN commanders for weeks before he was finally captured.