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Soldiers arrest Benue monarch, recover arms

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Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), on Saturday, reportedly uncovered arms and ammunition at the palace of Chief Utambe Adzer, the District Head of Cha (Mue Ter Cha), in Ukum Local Council of Benue State.

The Guardian revealed that the troops equally uncovered other weapons at the palace of the District Head of Lumbuv, Chief Teran Kwaghbo, and attempted to arrest him, but he escaped with some arms.

It was alleged that Chief Kwaghbo ran away when he heard that his counterpart had been arrested, and the soldiers were told that he was in possession of six AK-47 rifles.

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Confiding in The Guardian on condition of anonymity, a source in the area said OPWS troops acted on credible information to uncover the weapons in the palaces following the activities of bandits in their domains.

“It was about 10.30p.m. on Friday when we saw some soldiers moving towards the palace of Mue Ter Cha. Then the next moment, we saw that the military arrested the chief. We also saw them bringing out some arms, which we heard were discovered in his house. They equally razed the round hut in the palace suspected to be housing the weapons and some criminal elements.

“Just this morning (Saturday), the troops were still seen in Lumbuv District where they also attempted to arrest the District Head whom they believe harboured illegal arms. However, information got to the chief and he escaped arrest. As I talk to you, nobody knows where the army took the traditional ruler to,” the source stated.

Another source told journalists that one AK-47 assault rifle, one magazine, 20 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, one locally-made mortar tube and one vehicle were recovered from Chief Adzer.

Bandits suspected to be loyal to the late Benue militia gang leader, Terwase Akwaza (alias Gana), had been terrorising the Sankera axis of Ukum, Logo and Katsina-Ala local councils, killing unsuspected members of the public.

When contacted, Force Commander of OPWS, Brig-Gen. Clement Apere, declined comment, saying he could not speak on operations yet to be concluded.

He, however, directed newsmen to the Information Unit of the Defence Headquarters Abuja, for important inquiries.

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