Personnel of army spike operation in Benue State, code named Operation Whirl Stroke, OPWS , have uncovered an unlawful arms manufacturing manufacturing unit in Logo Local Government Area of the state, arrested two suspects and recovered totally different calibre of fireside arms.
The suspected arms producers and a few of the recovered instruments. Among the suspects was a telecommunications engineer, who claimed he skilled in arms manufacturing in Mauritania 5 years in the past. Also recovered from the gang had been arms manufacturing instruments and firearms at numerous levels of fabrication.
Parading the suspects, yesterday, at OPWS Base in Makurdi, Commander of the operation, Major-General Adeyemi Yekini, mentioned his troops tracked the gang after a tip-off and 4 weeks of surveillance.
According to Yekini, “about 5 weeks in the past, the headquarters of OPWS acquired info from our native sources about actions of some weapon producers working between Ayiin in Logo and Ukum native authorities areas of the state.
‘After due diligence by the intelligence unit, inside 4 weeks of surveillance, we had been capable of observe the culprits to their location and had them arrested. We are nonetheless on the path of members of the gang who’re at present at massive, however regardless of how they run we are going to get them.”
Corroborating Yekini, Sector 2 Commander of OPWS accountable for Logo and Ukum native authorities areas, who led troops to arrest the gang members, Captain Samuel Okenarhe, mentioned however for the short intervention of the troops, one of many suspects might have been lynched by an indignant mob in the neighborhood.
According to him, “we rescued him and he later took us to Tinenune village in Ukum Local Government Area where the two factories were located. His other accomplice initially ran away but he was later apprehended.”
AK-47 goes for N350,000, pistol for N50,000
Confessing to the alleged crime, Cephas Ati, who was arrested alongside Mnsuga Terhila, claimed he was arrested with two AK-47 rifles, explaining that he began the enterprise two years in the past when he got here again to Nigeria from Mauritania after he mysteriously misplaced all he needed to witchcraft.
Ati mentioned: “l have been within the enterprise for about two years now. I lived in Europe and began this arms enterprise once I returned from Europe two years in the past however I misplaced every thing to witchcraft and I needed to begin over again.
“I had my training in Mauritania. Each of the AK-47 goes for N350,000 while pistols go for N50,000 depending on the quality. In the two years I have supplied a total of 16 AK-47 rifles to different clients.”
The suspect claimed he didn’t personal any of the workshops “but I know a manufacturer, his name is Tavershima Vande.”
Reacting, Chairman of Benue ethnic leaders, on the auspices of Mdzough U Tiv, Omi Ny’ Igede and Ochetoha Okay’ Idoma, Chief Edward Ujege, mentioned they outrightly condemned any act of arms buying and selling and manufacturing within the state.
“All we are seeking is peace in Benue State and we may not enjoy that peace if people are dealing in arms in our state. Therefore, we condemn any of such acts in our state,” Ujege mentioned.
Also reacting on behalf of the state authorities, Chief Press Secretary, CPS, to the governor, Mr. Terver Akase, urged that justice takes its course within the matter.
Akase mentioned; “Governor Ortom by his amnesty programme had insisted that Benue State needs to be rid of arms of any type. Therefore, people who will not be authorised by regulation to hold arms don’t have any causes in anyway to personal arms in any respect.
“So the federal government has been pushing this narrative and if anybody is caught with arms, the regulation ought to take its course as a result of this authorities abhors gun-running by any particular person so far as that particular person has no backing of the regulation.
“So whoever is involved, the law should take its course and we urge security agencies to do proper investigation in the matter and let justice be served.”