Troops of the Nigerian Army in the ongoing Operation Crocodile Smile II in the South-South and South-West regions have arrested a bishop, Uwah Mfon, and 18 others for armed robbery, kidnapping and cult activities in various areas of Akwa Ibom State.
Punch learnt that the suspects – a number of them were identified as Saviour Friday, Nsika Udoh, Akan Monday, Abak Obong and Oyobong Frank – were arrested by troops of 2 Brigade and have been handed over to the police.
The Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, and 6 Division spokesman, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, said Mfon and the other suspects were arrested for allegedly terrorising Abak Obong, Oruk Atai and Ikot Obong areas in the Etim Ekpo Local Government Area of the state.
Iliyasu said the bishop was believed to be an alleged financier of “wanted criminals terrorising” the areas.
He said, “The increased presence of troops both on land and on waterways helped to avoid any criminal activity.
“The troops arrested Mfon on October 14. He is believed to be the financier of wanted criminals and he was arrested at Ikot Ibekwe community in the Ukanafun LGA. The suspect is volunteering information about gangs of kidnappers and cult members linked to him.”
The spokesman said more than 120,000 litres of stolen fuel was recovered from oil thieves in Rivers State.
Our correspondent learnt that troops of 29 Battalion intercepted two trucks in the Uzuaku area, loaded with 55,000 and 30,000 litres of fuel.
“A patrol team also discovered a re-activated illegal refinery in the Doroko area on October 17; and the site was destroyed by the troops. The troops also destroyed 53 jerrycans of 25 litres and 20 drums of 250 litres in the Akinima and Okrika areas respectively,” Iliyasu added