Slain Army couple: Linus Audu and Gloria Matthew murdered by unknown gunmen.

The Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) has denied responsibility in the murder of a military couple in Imo State last weekend.

Military authorities confirmed the attack, saying the couple were on transit in state for their traditional marriage when they were waylaid and beheaded.

The military accused the secessionist group and its paramilitary arm, Eastern Security Network (ESN) of being behind the killing despite announcing that it has just began investigation and will nab the perpetrators to face the law.

Pushing back the allegation, Emma Powerful, spokesperson of IPOB said his group remained non-violent and could not have killed the couple.

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Mr Powerful in a statement accused security agencies of being confused having not investigated the incident before announcing alleged culprits. He also accused the military and police of being bias, confused and attempts to tarnishing the image of the movement globally by ascribing to them any criminal activities in the Igbo predominant area.

The group said the allegation of the military indicting it is laughable and fallacious.

“Our attention has been drawn to the laughable and fallacious statement credited to the Nigeria Army that IPOB is responsible for the killing of couple on transit in Imo State after their marriage ceremony,” reads the statement. “We, therefore, wish to place on record that IPOB has no hands in the said atrocity which is an abominable act in Igbo tradition.

“No true Igbo will hurt an in-law, how much more a married daughter (Ada) in Igbo land. Even the ancestors will avenge such wickedness,” the group said.

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Mr Powerful wondered when the military conducted its investigation to arrive at the conclusion that IPOB was responsible for the killing.

“Before the Army jumped into their jaundiced conclusion that such abominable act was masterminded by IPOB, what investigations did they carry out to substantiate their claims?

“When have armed gunmen or criminals recruited by evil politicians in connivance with the same security agencies in their desperation to demonise IPOB, become IPOB members?

“They have always looked for occasion to attack innocent Igbo youths. Who knows the number of innocent Biafrans they will rope in in the aftermath of this abominable act and tag them the suspects?” the group queried.

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The group urged the Nigeria Army to leave IPOB alone “because we are not unknown gunmen and those who are pursuing them” adding that “the monster they created is now after them, yet they keep pointing accusing fingers at us’.

“We understand their game plan. All they are after is to blackmail IPOB before our international friends who understand our predicaments in the region.

“Keen watchers who are honest can testify that any time hoodlums carry out their evil act in Biafra land the Nigeria Army or Police will rush to the press and say IPOB was behind it so that Google will be flooded with the stories that IPOB is now a terrorists organisation but we are not.

“But ironically when worse crimes are committed in the North by bandits and other terrorists in the North, the same hypocritical security agencies will keep mute.

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“Nigeria security agencies should please leave us alone. We hate bloodletting. We are not killers. We have on our own been battling these same criminals, those we can lay our hands on that are unleashing sorrow even on our innocent people.

“IPOB/ESN made it categorically clear to all and sundry severally that we are not unknown gunmen and can never be, but because of hatred and envy, Nigeria Government and its security agencies have continued to link us with atrocities going on in our land.

“We are letting the world know that Nigeria Army and police are confused institutions. They are beclouded to see the truth because of their bias against us and delivering good jobs correctly.

“IPOB is, and will remain a non-violent movement. No amount of blackmail by Nigeria Government and its security agencies can make us change our resolve to restore Biafra through non violence,” the group added.

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