John Charles Makurdi
Troops of Operations Whirl Stroke operating in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States have arrested 19 suspects in different parts of Benue and Nasarawa States for various offences bothering on armed banditry, kidnapping and weapons supply.
Parading the suspects at Tactical Air Command, Nigeria Air force, Makurdi on Saturday, the Force Commander of OPWS, Major General Adeyemi Yekini said that 13 of the suspects were arrested in Gboko and Katsina-Ala areas of Benue State.
General Yekini specifically identified Dauda Atara and Andrew Imbwase aka Don Moji as major armourers and suppliers of weapons to Benue’s most-wanted kingpin, Terwase Akwaza (aka Gana).
Speaking to newsmen, suspected arms supplier, Andrew Imbwase aka Don Moji admitted that he was arrested for illegally supplying arms and ammunition.
He said, “I was contracted to supply weapons and I contacted somebody in Shendam Local Government Area of Plateau State.
“The last time, I supplied 2000 ammunitions to politicians in Gboko and I got my supply through (one) Dauda Atara, who is my friend. I am the one who led the army to his house in North Bank after l was arrested.
“I know Gana (wanted crime kingpin) and I supplied weapons to him through one of my maternal uncles who spoke to me about him. I have been in the business of weapons supply before the introduction of the amnesty programme by Governor Samuel Ortom. I was working with one of my late brothers.
“Later on, I committed a crime in which I was taken into custody for a very long time. So when the last general election was around the corner, I was brought out to come and assist some politicians. I collected three AK47 rifles and ammunitions from Dauda which I used throughout the elections period”, he said.
The other suspect, Atara Dauda said that he supplied weapons and ammunition to both Gana and Don Moji.
“What Don Moji said is true because I was the one that gave him all the guns and ammunition. It was not even three AK47 that we gave out to politicians but four. I supplied weapons to Gana but at a time l stopped because he (Gana) wanted me to join his gang but I refused. I have been supplying guns to Gana since 2014.
“I also supplied 2000 ammunitions to Moji and I got them from one Bala Igige in North Bank area of Makurdi”, he confessed.