The Imo State police command on Tuesday dismissed reports of a bomb explosion at the popular Izombe market in Oguta Local Government Area of the state.
A report emerged on Tuesday that gunmen enforcing the sit-at-home order in the state killed several traders during an attack on the market on Monday.
The state’s Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Barde, who reacted to the report in a statement in Owerri, described it as a calculated attempt to undermine the already achieved peace in the state.
He said: “The attention of the Imo Police Command has been drawn to a false newspaper publication on 21st June 2022, captioned ‘SIT-AT-HOME: Gunmen Bomb Imo Market, Scores Injured.
“The command is miffed and view this publication as malicious, false, misleading and a calculated attempt to undermine the already improved security situation being enjoyed in the state.
“May I, at this juncture, state the true facts surrounding the incident that actually occurred on 20/6/2022 in Izombe Central Market.
“It is on record that there was no bomb explosion in Izombe Central Market on 20/6/2022, and there was no record at the disposal of the command that, the traders were in anytime warned by members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) against Monday market.
“However, a preliminary investigation conducted by the police on arrival at the market while responding to distress calls on 20/6/2022 revealed that some overzealous miscreants came to the Izombe Central Market in Oguta LGA of Imo State, on a motorcycle.
“They went to a parked vehicle where the conductor was canvassing for passengers traveling to Owerri and set it ablaze in the name of enforcing sit-at-home order in the community and left almost immediately after the act.
“However, no life was lost and most of the people had left because the market had closed for the day.
“The command considers this publication not only unprofessional but also believes it’s at variance with the ethics of the profession of journalism.”
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