Nigeria: Military Arrests Notorious Criminal Gang Leader Over Murder of Benue Traditional Ruler

31 July 2020

Makurdi — A notorious criminal gang leader, Asaaghar Igye also known as Zaki Biam, was arrested by the troops of the joint military operation codenamed Operation Whirl Stroke, OPWS, for allegedly masterminding the murder of the District Head of Kundav community, Ukum Local Government Area, Benue State, Chief Awua Alabar.

Alabar was killed on July 21, 2020, at his residence in the community by armed men who also shot his brother.

It was gathered from a security personnel that Igye had been on the wanted list of the troops and security personnel, who, received a tip-off on his whereabouts.

Vanguard gathered from a security source, who spoke on condition of anonymity that the OPWS troops deployed to Zaki Biam and Jootar in Ukum council of the state responded to the tip off, yesterday, from some locals in the area on sighting the wanted gang leader.

He said, "The troops moved in immediately after combing the area thoroughly, he was arrested in a bush where he ran to hide himself.

"He is already helping the military by providing information that would lead to the arrest of other members of his gang before being handed over the police for further investigation," the security source added.

Meanwhile, a member of the community, who gave his name as Terdo told Vanguard that the arrest of the gang was celebrated in the area "because his gang members have been tormenting everyone in the area but we knew that it was a matter of time before they will all be arrested, especially after they killed the Chief.

"We commend the troops for the successful operation and we appeal that they make efforts to arrest every member of the gang, so that we can have peace in our communities," he added.

When contacted, the Force Commander of OPWS, Maj. Gen. Adeyemi Yekini said, he could not comment on the arrest of the gang leader and referred journalists to the Defense Head Quarters (DHQ) Information Department.

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