The Nigerian Army has arrested 10 suspected members of the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), who have claimed responsibility for the destruction of oil and gas installations in the region in recent times.
The Commander of the 4 Brigade, Brigadier-General Farouk Yahaya, who paraded the suspects on Sunday in Benin, Edo State, said that several items were recovered from the arrested suspects.
The suspects were arrested on Saturday morning in Oporaza, the headquarters of Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, following a cordon and search operation conducted in the community.
Brigadier-General Yahaya said that there have been several cases of sabotage by suspected militants and vandals in Delta State since the start of this year, even as he said that there have been warnings and threats “to shut down all operations” in the Niger Delta.
He gave the items recovered from the suspects to include 28 detonator cords (also known Detonator 33), one pistol, two empty pistol magazines, 196 rounds of 7.62 special ammunition, one round of nine-millimetre ammunition, a live cartridge and five daggers.
Also recovered were 15 handheld radio sets, 18 phones, 203 SIM cards of three major network providers, five swimsuits, two headlamps, a laptop, two ipads and a camera.
Others are seven wraps of substances suspected to be Indian hemp, five speedboat throttle cables, six pairs of hand gloves, N23,000 cash and a cheque book.
The commander explained that while the true identity of the suspects would be unraveled through investigations, recent explosions carried out by the NDA suggested that the arrested suspects may be connected to the group.
“Within the period under review, you can see that the Niger Delta Avengers have claimed virtually all acts of criminal activities against oil and gas and they continue threatening a shutdown of the whole sector.
“So, most likely, they (suspects) will be the people, who else would they be?” the army chief asked. [myad]