Military’s OPWS arrests, parades alleged weapons supplier, 17 others in Benue
Police raid bandits’ camps, seize kidnappers in Kaduna
Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states, have paraded 19 suspects arrested in parts of Benue and Nasarawa states for armed banditry, kidnappings and supply of arms and ammunition to criminals.
Specifically, OPWS paraded Dauda Atara and Andrew Imbwase, who until their arrest were the major suppliers of weapons to the most wanted criminal kingpin in Benue State, Terwase Akwaza (aka Gana) and two other kidnappers, who were arrested at Umaisha in Toto Council Area of Nasarawa State.
Briefing journalists yesterday at the force headquarters in Makurdi, the Force Commander of OPWS, Major General Adeyemi Yekini, explained that 10 of the suspects were arrested in Gboko Council Area of Benue State, while three other members of the Gana gang were arrested during a raid on Gana’s hometown, Gbishe in Katsina-Ala Council Area of the state.
General Yekini disclosed that the two suspects were the weapon suppliers and armourers of Terwase Akwaza.
“Gentlemen, you have seen and interviewed the suspects and I can tell you with every sense of responsibility that these criminals are perhaps, the most deadly criminals that we have ever arrested since the inception of OPWS and we hope that the prosecuting authorities will do a good job so that they can be removed from the society for a very long time.
“Some weeks ago, we had a press briefing during which I promised that we shall focus on how to break the weapons supply chain that have been fuelling criminalities in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states.
“I am happy to inform you that we have been able to record some successes. Our star suspect today is Don Moji. He is the number one weapon supplier to Gana and he is responsible for 80 or 90 per cent of weapons that Gana has been using to terrorise the people of Benue State.
“But we tracked him to somewhere between Kashi and Kurudu in Abuja where we arrested him and other member of the team, Yekini added.
Meanwhile, a combined team of policemen comprising Inspector General of Police (IGP’s) Special Tactical Squad attached to Operation Puff Adder and Intelligence Response Team (IRT) have arrested 25 kidnappers in Kaduna State, as they raided identified bandits’ camp.
Among those arrested are gunmen that kidnapped a House of Assembly lawmaker in the state and other bandits operating along the Abuja-Kaduna and Kaduna-Zaria highways.
The Abuja-Kaduna and Kaduna-Zaria highways were taken over by kidnappers and several people have fell victims, until the state government ordered dismantling of all road blocks mounted by security officials.
A statement issued by the Kaduna Police Command Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Yakubu Sabo, noted, “combined teams of IGP’s operational units made the arrests when they acted on intelligence and raided criminal hideouts at Kingimi and other surrounding villages in Igabi Council Area.
“In the process, the team arrested one Buhari Bello, a 34-year old kidnapper and 25 others. Upon interrogation, it was revealed that they belong to a notorious gang of kidnappers and armed robbers that have been terrorising Kaduna-Abuja and Kaduna -Zaria expressways.”
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