The Joint Task Force, JTF, Operation Delta Safe has destroyed active militant camps at Okparakiri, Sanikiri, Ke community, Elem Okporama and Olukirion, as well as arrested four suspected sea pirates en route to other hideouts in Kelekele Creek in its joint operation area, DAILY POST can report.
The Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig.Gen. John Agim, disclosed this much at a press briefing on the conduct of Operation 777 on Friday.
He said the JTF embarked on the destruction and arrests of the suspects based on a tip-off, stressing that the suspects had been terrorising Kelekele community and Abonnema-Buguma waterways.
Brig. Gen. Agim also disclosed that the arrested suspects have given useful information that will help to rid the general area of criminal activities.
According to him, “Our troops deployed at Asaba arrested two suspected drug peddlers by name Nduka Ozigbondu and Mofi Ndibuisi along cable point roundabout with large quantity of Indian hemp and other substances suspected to be hard drugs.
“Subsequently, the suspects and recovered items were handed over to National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for further action.
“Similarly, troops in conjunction with NDLEA personnel raided identified drug spots, in Alaka, Ajamogha and Ugbenbe general area. 16 suspects were arrested and substances suspected to be hard drugs (Cocaine and Marijuana) were found in their possession. The suspects and items were handed over to NDLEA officials for further action.”
Agim added that bags of rice suspected to be smuggled from Cameroon at Mbo River, Mbo LGA of Akwa Ibom State, were intercepted and handed over to Nigeria Customs Service, Akwa Ibom State Command, for further action.
He said, “In another development, troops deployed at Ibaka intercepted and arrested 2 wooden boats at Ebughu River in Mbo LGA with 4 and 5 crew each conveying 202 fifty kilogram bags and 326 fifty kilogram bags of rice respectively suspected to be smuggled from Cameroon. Both the suspects and the rice were handed over to Nigeria Customs Service Comptroller General Strike Force in Akwa Ibom for further investigation and prosecution.”
The military spokesman, who gave detailed records of Operation 777, said it has made huge achievement which resulted in the increase in oil and gas production in the country.
He added that Operation 777 is aimed at curbing crude oil theft, illegal refining of petroleum products, illegal oil bunkering, communal clashes, kidnapping, piracy, cultism as well as to eliminate militancy within its Joint Operation Area, JOA.
Agim also disclosed that the Defence headquarters has found out that the allegations levelled against the Commander of the Joint Task Force, JTF, is “false”, stressing that “It was criminality fighting back”.
In his words, ”Gentlemen of the press, let me use this medium to report that, sometime in August this year, Defence Headquarters received petition against the Force Commander, OPDS Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman of some wrong doing.”
The Chief of Defence Staff, General AG Olonisakin had constituted a committee to investigate the veracity of the allegations.