On 6 April 2021, suspected members of the banned Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) separatist group attacked a prison in the southeastern city of Owerri in Imo state. Heavily armed gunmen — who local police officials claim were members of the paramilitary branch of the IPOB, known as the Eastern Security Network (ESN) — used rocket-propelled grenades and explosives in the attack, which allowed at least 1,800 prisoners to escape from the Owerri Custodial Center. One police officer was shot and injured in the attack, but there were no reports of fatalities. A potential motive remains unclear. IPOB and ESN have denied responsibility for the attack.