The Defence Headquarters has confirmed the killing of Terwase Akwaza, alias ‘Gana’ tagged the ‘most wanted criminal’ in Benue State.
The Benue State Government had in 2015 granted amnesty to over 500 persons including Gana, who were terrorising parts of Benue and Taraba states, but most of them relapsed into criminality.
Gana was later in 2017 declared wanted by the police while the Benue State Government placed a N10 million bounty on him.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, who confirmed the death of the militia leader at a weekly press briefing in Abuja, noted that forty members of his gang were also captured alongside arms and ammunition.
He said “in addition on 8 September 2020, troops of Operation Ayem Akpatuma III killed a militia leader Terwase Akwaza alias Gana during an encounter with troops around Gboko in Benue State. Forty members of his gang were also captured alongside arms and ammunition.
According to him, On 5 September 2020, troops of Operation Safe Haven also raided hideouts of suspected Sara Suka criminals at Yantifa, New Market, Terminus and Bauchi road in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State.
“Troops apprehended 20 Sara Suka suspects at the location while two members of a syndicate specializing in the production of fake security agencies identity cards were also apprehended.”
Enenche added that all the arrested suspects are being profiled after which they will be handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agency for further action.
He noted that troops of Sector 1 deployed at Gagbe in Gwer West Local Government Area of Benue State conducted a dawn raid on another suspected armed bandits’ hideout at Tse Agi in the general area.
The gallant troops stormed the hideout and apprehended four suspects while one AK 47 rifle, 2 AK-47 rifle magazines and 46 rounds of 7.62 mm special ammunition were also recovered at the location.
“The hideout was subsequently destroyed. In a similar vein, troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN arrested 35 suspected criminals during raids on some identified criminal hideouts at West of Mines, Mid West, Charcoal Market and Busa Buji areas of Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State. The raids were conducted following intelligence reports of criminal activities in those areas,” Enenche said.
He explained that troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI have continued the aggressive clearance operations in the North-West zone of the country.
“For the period under review, we have witnessed downward trend in the activities of armed bandits and criminal elements in the zone.
“The gallant troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI within the period carried out series of clearance operations, ambushes and other aggressive and confidence-building patrols. Also, farm and highway patrols were carried out within the zone hence boosting the confidence of the people in carrying out their human activities.
“These operations have most importantly led to the neutralization of armed bandits, arrest of suspected bandits and their collaborators, rescue of kidnapped victims, recovery of rustled cattle, smashing of illegal arms syndicates and illegal armed miners.”
The coordinator said “In one of the operations conducted on 3 September 2020, the gallant troops neutralized 2 armed bandits at Samawa village in Bungudu Local Government of Zamfara State. Similarly, on the same day, a bandit named Sada surrendered 3 AK 47 rifles, one SMG and 2 magazines to troops of Forward Operating Base DANSADAU in Zamfara State.”