Troops of ‘Operation Whirl Stroke,’ said they have arrested 10 suspected bandits in Benue and Nasarawa states.
Parading eight of the suspects, alleged to be kidnappers, at the OPWS headquarters in Makurdi on Saturday, the force commander of the operation, Maj. Gen. Adeyemi Yekini, disclosed that five were arrested in the Toto and Awe local government areas of Nasarawa State while another five were arrested in Benue State.
He said one of the suspects was shot dead during an exchange of gunfire with troops at Zaki-Biam in the Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State while an AK-47 riffle was recovered from him.
Yekini also said three out of the four suspects arrested in the Zaki Biam areas were allegedly linked with the notorious wanted militia leader, Terwase Akwaza nicknamed Gana.
According to the force commander, another suspect was nabbed in the Tomata area of the state with a locally made rifle fabricated to fire 5.56mm ammunition, a standard ammunition for assault rifles.
He said that the pistol was as deadly as any standard assault rifle.
He further said that one suspect arrested in Awe was handed over to the police because he was linked to a kidnapping case in Nasarawa State.
According to Yekini, items recovered from the suspects included two locally made pistols, a self-loading riffle, five locally made rifles, one AK-47 riffle, some quantities of ammunition, a Toyota Corolla and three phones.
Also addressing journalists, the Sector Commander, Sector 3, Nasarawa State, Naval-Lt. Emmanuel Igwe, and his Ukum counterpart, Naval-Lt. Lawal Abubakar, disclosed that they carried out the operations following the directive by the force commander to deal decisively with bandits and kidnappers in their respective areas of operation.