Ex-Militant, Egberipapa Opens Up On Military Invasion, Arrest

…Says Younger Brother, Aide Killed

The ex-militant leader and former governorship candidate of the National Rescue Mission in Rivers State, Sobomabo Jackrich, popularly known as ‘Egberipapa,’ has recounted his traumatic experience following a military invasion and subsequent arrest at his country home in Degema Town, headquarters of Degema Local Government Area. He maintains his innocence and is consulting his legal team regarding possible legal action.

In an interview on a national Television station on Tuesday, Egberipapa vehemently denied the allegations made against him, which claimed that his residence harbored individuals involved in the killing of 17 soldiers in Okuama, Delta State.

He expressed shock and disbelief at the invasion, emphasizing the unusual timing and the uncertainty surrounding the identity of the intruders.

Egberipapa described the events of the night as distressing, stating, “What happened in the early hours of Monday the 8th of April, 2024, was something I think I would not like to experience again.” He expressed concern over the motives of the individuals who stormed his home at 2:30 am, questioning whether they were legitimate officers or hired assassins.

Worried about his safety, Egberipapa immediately contacted the Commissioner of Police to ascertain the nature of the intrusion.

The Commissioner and other security officials confirmed that they were unaware of the operation. Seeking further guidance, Egberipapa reached out to the Director of State Security Service, who urged caution due to reports of gunshots and loss of life in the vicinity. This led Egberipapa to suspect that the intruders might not be genuine officers but potential assassins.

Egberipapa and his associates, including members of the Civil Defense, decided not to open the gate until morning, resisting the demands of the intruders. Eventually, the Commissioner of Police informed them that the invading officers were from the 6 Division of the Nigerian army, Bori Camp, though he remained puzzled by their untimely arrival.

During the confrontation, Egberipapa requested to see a search or arrest warrant, but none was presented.

The military officers claimed to have received intelligence suggesting that the perpetrators of the Okuama incident were hiding in his residence.

Egberipapa vehemently denied the allegation, questioning why they did not approach him during daylight hours, considering his visibility in the community.

Authorities, including the local Divisional Police Officer and the Area Commander, arrived to verify the situation and witness the subsequent search of Egberipapa’s home. Fortunately, nothing incriminating was found.

Nevertheless, the military insisted that Egberipapa and his staff accompany them to their base, leading to a confrontation with his mobile policemen. Tragically, two of Egberipapa’s aides were shot and killed during the invasion.

Egberipapa shared an account from a surviving staff member, who witnessed the arrival of military vans late at night.

The staff members, unaware of the intruders’ intentions, did not resist and were alarmed by the subsequent gunshots fired within the compound.

When asked about the ongoing conflict between militant factions, particularly one led by an individual named Endurance, Egberipapa stated that he was not informed about the specific details.

He expressed concerns about the pipeline surveillance disputes and the involvement of ministers, suggesting that some leaders deliberately provoke insecurity and suppress dissenting voices.

Regarding potential legal action against the army for his wrongful arrest, Egberipapa admitted that he sought advice from his legal team.

He emphasized the importance of acting in his best interest and ensuring that any actions taken are well-considered.

In conclusion, Egberipapa adamantly refuted the allegations made against him, asserting that he had no knowledge of individuals involved in the killing of army officers hiding in his residence.

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