The Nigerian Army says it has recovered one AK47 assault rifle and uniforms belonging to DSP Mohammed Alkali and his police orderly allegedly beheaded by cultists.
The policemen were killed by suspected cultist at Omoku, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers during the Dec. 10 re-run legislative elections.
Maj.-Gen. Kasimu Abdulkarim, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 6 Division, Port Harcourt, disclosed this to newsmen in Port Harcourt on Sunday.
Abdulkarim said that troops from the Division recovered the items during a raid on four militant camps and cultist’s hideouts in Ujju community near Omoku.
According to him, troops also recovered assorted types of arms and ammunitions stashed away by bandits in the area.
“Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area has over time witnessed criminal acts ranging from attacks on critical national infrastructure and brutal murder which affected economic activities of oil companies and citizens.
“The barbaric nature and manner of criminalities led the 6 Division to conduct a raid on December 31 on four suspected criminal camps located across the River, in Ujju community.
“In the raid, 6 Division troops in conjunction with Operation Delta Safe Special Boats Service and air component, engaged the suspected criminals in exchange of gunfire.
“Troops later arrested some suspects and recovered several weapons, ammunitions and uniforms, including uniforms and rifle belonging DSP Mohammed Alkali and his orderly, Sgt. Urukwu Nwachukwu.
“Our forces also recovered one AK47 rifle, two G3 rifles, five Double Barrel guns, two pistols, 31 empty AK47 magazines, 242 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition.
“Others are, 322 rounds of other ammunition calibres, bulletproof jackets, seven other police uniforms, 31 handsets, Automated Teller Machine Cards (ATMs) and a First Aid box,” he said.
Abdulkarim said the clean-up operation was in continuation of efforts by the Division to recover weapons from cultists and militants who refused to embrace Amnesty offered by Rivers’ government.
He said that in spite of the just concluded amnesty programme offered by government, armed groups had continued to terrorise residents in Omoku town.
The GOC said that 15 persons including a soldier, four Civil Defence Corps personnel; two policemen and eight civilians were brutally murdered while several others kidnapped in the area in December alone.
“This trend of violence cannot be left unchecked as the Division will sustain ‘Operation Cleanup’ to enable oil companies and the people to go about their businesses in peaceful environment,” he said.
Abdulkarim urged the public to provide security agencies with vital information that would lead to the arrest of cultists and militants and assured that their identities would be kept in confidence.