Troops of the military spike operation, codenamed ‘Operation Whirl Stroke,’ have arrested 10 suspected bandits in Benue and Nasarawa states.
Parading eight of the suspects, alleged to be kidnappers, before journalists at the OPWS headquarters in Makurdi on Saturday, the force commander of the operation, Maj. Gen. Adeyemi Yekini, said that five were arrested in the Toto and Awe local government areas of Nasarawa State while five others were arrested in Benue State.
Yekini stated that 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.
He said three out of the four suspects arrested in the Zaki Biam areas of Benue State were allegedly linked with the wanted militia leader, Terwase Akwaza (aka Gana).
According to him, 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.
Yekini explained that the pistol was as deadly as any standard assault rifle.
The force commander said one suspect arrested in Awe was handed over to the police because he was linked to a kidnapping case in Nasarawa State.
In all, items recovered from the suspects included two locally fabricated pistols, a self-loading riffle, five locally made rifles, one AK-47 riffle, some quantities of ammunition, a Toyota Corolla and three phones.
Also speaking, the Sector Commander, Sector 3, Nasarawa State, Naval-Lt. Emmanuel Igwe, and his Ukum counterpart, Naval-Lt. Lawal Abubakar, noted 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.