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‘Militant General’ killed in gun battle with police, weapon recovered

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File photo of a police gun boat

An alleged kidnapper and militant, Prosper David, popularly known as ‘Militant General’ was on Wednesday killed by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police’ (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT). He was killed during a gun battle with the operatives at his hideout in a creek in Bayelsa State.

An AK47 riffle, a magazine, 26 rounds of live ammunition, four expended ammunition and one Nokia phone belonging to his kidnap victim with which ransom negotiation was done were recovered.

Although the kingpin had earlier surrendered arms and enrolled into the Federal Government’s amnesty programme, it was gathered that he was running a militant group underground and usually collected between N1 million and N2 million from each vessel passing through Nembe creek to the high seas.

The police also arrested three suspects including the kingpin’s driver, Johnson Denis, who had one of the kingpin’s phones, Benjamin Johnson and Anthony Joshua between February 21 and Wednesday.

It was gathered that the police had trailed the kingpin since December last year following the kidnap of a businesswoman, Tina Bob-Manuel. According to the police, Militant General and his gang kidnapped the woman on November 22, at her shop located at 107, Nvuigwe Road, Woji, in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.

They were said to have gone there in an ash Honda Pilot vehicle around 1:30pm in police uniform and kidnapped her. It was gathered that the kidnappers collected N6 million and $1,000 ransom in two installments before they released the victim on February 21.

With the release of the victim, the police swooped on the kingpin’s driver, through the telephone inside his SUV. He was arrested and he led detectives to Militant General’s residence at Victory Estate, Azikoro in Yenagoa last December, but the kingpin, it was gathered, had moved his family and went underground.

Confirming the incident, police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, said: “After about 90 days of painstaking intelligence gathering with assistance from Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU), the suspect was traced to his rented apartment at Asiri in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. “On sighting the police, he ran into the ceiling from where he engaged the operatives but was neutralised and fatally injured. Serious efforts are in top gear to arrest other gang members and recovery of more arms.”

However, the driver denied knowing ‘Militant General’ was a kidnapper, claiming that he never followed them for the operation. According to him, the kingpin paid him N30,000 per month, adding that he usually drove him from Bayelsa to Port Harcourt.


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