The Nigerian Military has announced the arrest of three suspected members of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) believed to have carried out the August 8 attack on the military check point in Nembe in which four soldiers were killed.
The soldiers attached to Operation Delta Safe were all killed and the suspected NDA members made away with their gun boats, arms and ammunition.
The attack was said to have irked the Defence Headquarters and the ODS was directed to launch a manhunt for the killers and ensure their arrest to bring them to justice.
According to investigations, intelligence gathering by the ODS led troops to the hideout of the suspected militants at Okiama community in Okigbene clan Southern Ijaw local government area.
Though the raid did not yield the desired results, as the suspected militants had escaped, ODS troops recovered some items including military accoutrements.
On Monday, troops following the trail provided by intelligence officers intercepted the suspected militants at Epebu community also in Southern Ijaw local government area, and after a gun duel that lasted for about an hour, two of the militants including the leader was killed while three of them were arrested.
Commander of ODS Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, in press briefing to parade the suspected militants, disclosed that large quantities of arms and ammunition and the gun boat that was stolen from the military check point in Nembe were recovered.
9 AK 47 rifles, 1 FN rifle, 4 HK 21 MGs, one G3 MG, 3 GPMGs, 20 AK 47 magazines, 2 G3 magazines, 1 FN magazine 1, container of gun powder. Others are 1 Epenal gun boat, 1,145 rounds of 7.62mm metal link, 2,485 rounds of 7.62mm ball cartons, 370 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 1,356 rounds of 7.62mm NATO.
Okojie said that there was no place to hide for criminals. He also warned those planning to declare what he referred to as an “imaginary independence” to have a rethink as the ODS was prepared to clamp down on them.
“The Joint Task Force conducted this operation professionally and avoided collateral damage. We shall continue to sustain this approach which is in line with global best practices. Let me use this opportunity to reiterate the fact that no criminal would go free, wherever they are. Be rest assured we will get them and ensure they face justice. Let me reaffirm the commitment of Joint Task Force Operation DELTA SAFE of its resolve to ensure peace and economic stability in the region. Fortunately there are windows of opportunity provided by the Federal Government for amicable resolution of grievances by any aggrieved groups. Rather than engage in heinous crimes or self help, they should seize the opportunity and embrace peace or face the full wrath of the law. In the same vein, those misguided elements that bear the unachievable and unfortunate message of disunity through declaration of imaginary independence must have a rethink. The Joint Task Force believes these unscrupulous elements have ample time and opportunities to channel their grievances properly.”