No fewer than 86 high profile criminals in the South-East and Cross River State have been arrested and handed over to relevant security agencies in the ongoing “Exercise Atilogwu Udo 1’’.
Deputy Director, Col. Aliyu Yusuf, Army Public Relations 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, said this in a statement issued to newsmen in Enugu.
Yusuf, who said that the arrests were made between the commencements of the exercise on Nov.1 till date, said that the conduct of the exercise has recorded a number of achievements.
He said that the exercise was aimed at fighting against kidnapping, cultism, armed robbery, drug peddlers, secessionist activities, bunkering and other criminal activities as well as providing humanitarian services in some host communities.
He said: “Troops of sector 1, in 13 Brigade, Calabar, have arrested a total of 38 suspects in its Area of Responsibility (AOR). The latest arrest occurred on Dec 6, when troops conducted snap checkpoint in Obubra LGA.
“During the operation, three suspects who were riding on motorcycle at Okuni village in Ikom LGA immediately abandoned their motorcycle and fled on sighting the troops.
“Troops pursued and apprehended Mr Francis Ibiang. Items recovered from him include one locally made pistol, one cartridge, a matchete, two mobile phones, assorted charms and N4,500.; and he has been handed over to the police for further action’’.
The army spokesman said that troops of Sector 2 in Abia State on Nov 19, arrested four IPOB members in Aba Market selling proscribed Biafran newspapers and their names included: Sunday Elom, Martins Ogwuchukwu, Chineme Obiechifula and Innocent Mike.
“Following a distress call from Chief Security Officer (CSO) Abia State Polytechnic, Asa; troops in conjunction with security agencies arrested cult members suspected to be of Klain Men group and they are: Stanley Kelechi, Kalu Ihechi, Okoro Prince and Chiemeka Nwosu,’’ he said.
Yusuf said that on Nov. 19 in Sector 3 under AOR of 34 Brigade, Owerri; troops arrested three vandals in three buses with suspected illegally refined AGO.
He said: “Suspects were arrested following a tip-off after vandalizing pipeline and evacuating the contents at Umuapu along Owerri-Port Harcourt Road.
“The troops also arrested of illegal oil dealer, Mr Emmanuel Okechukwu with five drums filled with suspected illegally refined AGO in a Mercedes Benz along Owerri-Port Harcourt Road’’.
He noted that in Sector 4 in Anambra State, troops while on patrol at Dunukofia along Onitsha-Awka Road intercepted suspected gun-runner, Mr Leonard Asowgua, a Jos-based businessman, with two pump action guns, 25 cartridges and two cellphones.
“Also, troops acting on a tip-off raided suspected drug peddlers hideout at Amansea and Umudioka general area and arrested 21 suspected dealers with varying quantity of suspected drugs,’’ he said.
He said that troops under AOR of Sector 5 in 82 Division Garrison on Nov. 19; troops in conjunction with security agencies conducted raid to flush out kidnappers and criminal elements hibernating in Ajalli–Umumba Forest in Udi LGA of Enugu State.
“Troops around Nsukka–Ukehi Road general area arrested Mr Oluchi Ugwu who is a suspected notorious drug peddler, and recovered one bag of India Hemp,’’ he said.
Yusuf said that troops of Sector 6 in Abakaliki arrested a gang of wanted criminals terrorizing the whole of Ezza South council area of Ebonyi State; who are Success George,18; Noble Mbam,20; Emeka Ugo,20 and Aja Anayochukwu, 20.
“Their arrest also led to the arrest of one Mr Imeze Joseph who buys stolen items from them and at the point of his arrest, one suspected stolen plasma TV was recovered from him,’’ he added.