BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME
THE Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, last night, confirmed the arrest of six persons in Ogu Bolo local government area of Rivers State over illegal possession of fire arms.
Spokesman of the JTF, Lt Col Nwachukwu, who confirmed the development, said the suspects were handed over to the police.
Fielding questions from Sunday Vanguard on the political status of the suspects, Nwachukwu insisted they were only arrested for illegal possession of fire arms. ” I don’t know their political status. All I can say is that they were arrested for illegal possession of arms. We don’t know about their political status. We have handed them over to the police.”
A text message he later sent read: “As at January 3, 2014, six suspected hoodlums with arms were arrested during a routine patrol at Ogu community in Ogubolo local government area. Items recovered were 7 x AK7, 164 rounds of ammunition and six locally made canon launchers. Suspects were handed over to the Nigeria Police yesterday. They were arrested for illegal possession of fire arms and not for any reason of political or social affiliation as being wrongly insinuated.
Spokesman of the JTF in Rivers State and 2 Brigade, Port Harcourt, Major Michael Etete, also confirmed the arrest when called last night.
Meantime, a report said the six youths were loyalists of a member of the state House of Assembly. The source said the suspects were driving in a Land Rover jeep when they were arrested; adding that one of them is a security adviser to the lawmaker
When contacted to know if any of his aides was arrested by the JTF, the lawmaker, however, said there was nothing like that, saying it was a ploy to divert attention from the arrest of the Leader of the House of Assembly, Hon Chidi Lloyd.
Hon Lloyd was picked by the police days ago over alleged murder of a sergeant and a civilian described as a political rival from Emohua local government area.