By Emma Arubi
WARRIâ€”OPERATIVES of the military Joint Task Force, code-named Operation Restore Hope, yesterday morning arrested a 9-man heavily armed militant group at a popular hotel along Otu-Jeremi road in Udu local government area of Delta State.
They were picked up around 9.30 am in one of the hotel rooms moments before take off time to kidnap a very rich lady in the area.
The nine suspected kidnappers included one of the fighters working for militant leader, Government Ekpomukpolo, alias â€œTompoloâ€ and another who claimed to be the son of a very prominent Ijaw leader Parading the suspects before newsmen, Commander, Sector one of the JTF, Effurun, Colonel Jamil Sarham, disclosed that the hoodlums were apprehended following an intelligence report on their plot to carry out a kidnap in the state.
He gave the names of the suspects as ThankGod Alfred Bubor, Jacob Igboyovwi, Joe Oghenekevwe, Terry Ereri, Alaki Ufoma, George Ayiwe, Bomadi Arugbo, Allex Biyimi AganewubeÂ and one other, saying that the suspects had plotted to carry out a kidnap exercise at about 11.am.
He said:Â â€œThrough intelligence gathering, we kept surveillance on their movement and when they were about to strike at 11 a.m., their zero hour, we stormed the hotel and effected their arrest at about 9.30 a.mâ€.
Amongst the items recovered from them were two A.K 47 rifles, hundreds of 16.22 mm ammunition, 10 mobile phones, three vehicles, a Mercedes Benz 230 E with registration A I 725 AGB; Toyota Corolla with registration PZ 135 KJA and Volkwagen Jetta with registration AE 129 BKW.
Mr. Bomadi Arubu said he was a boy to Camp 5 militant leader, Government Ekpomukpolo, adding that he escaped during the recent military onslaught on Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West local government area of Delta State.
He also confirmed that they were to kidnap a woman before the security agents closed in on them.
The suspect alleged that Tompolo had refused to settle them, and noted that was why some of them still go about militancy and kidnapping.