Soldiers of Sector I in Operation Python Dance II in Abia State have raided a kidnappers’ den at Ohanze in Obingwa Local Government Area and arrested three suspected members of the gang – Okezie Nwaobilor, Arinze Ugiri and Michael Sunday.
They rescued the victim, Monday Benson, during the raid.
A statement by the 82 Division headquarters of Nigerian Army Public Relations Officer, Col. Musa Sagir, said the suspects had been handed over to the police, after questioning, for further investigation and possible prosecution.
The statement said troops of Sector IV raided a criminals’ hideout at Obinze community and arrested 17 suspected criminals.
The soldiers reportedly recovered three locally-made pistols, five Dane guns and 15 rounds of various calibres of ammunition.
Other items recovered are: charms and seven wraps of substance suspected to be Indian hemp.
The statement said the troops of Sector IV, in conjunction with the police, also raided a criminals’ den in Ukukwa North Local Government Area of Anambra State and arrested seven suspected criminals.
They were said to have recovered four locally-made pistols, 420 live cartridges, about 50 kilogrammes of cannabis and some charms.
The suspects and the items were reportedly handed over to the police for further investigation.
The statement added that troops of Sector II, following an intelligence report, conducted two raids operatios on suspected cultists’ shrines at Awara and Assa communities of Ohaji-Egbema Local Government of Imo State arrested 10 suspected cult members.
The suspects, the statement said, had been transferred to the police after preliminary investigations.
The statement added: “Despite the initial opposition to Exercise Egwu Eke II by the outlawed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) members and their sympathisers and unpatriotic elements, the general area of the Southeast, especially Aba in Abia State, is now fully stabilised. The usual violent activities of the outlawed Biafra “National Guards” (manning check points and extorting money from traders and motorists) have now been checkmated.
“Similarly, the outlawed Biafra terrorists’ group’s presence is no longer visible and people go about their normal businesses without fear, let or hindrance.
“The 82 Division of the Nigerian Army wishes to reassure the public that it is poised to maintaining the peace and security in the Southeast. The public is requested to cooperate with security agencies by remaining law-abiding and passing credible information to the nearest security check point or call 193 and the various sector commanders’ telephone numbers that were earlier made public.
“The Nigerian Army encourages the residents of the states to be vigilant of suspicious activities and has provided contact details for the public, should they possess any vital information regarding the exercise.”